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Building the Assessment Questionnaire

"This chapter provides a road map to building a questionnaire that will help uncover the specific sources of the problems that a project is experiencing. There are several sources to help formulate the questions a rescue manager can use to get clarity and precision around the true status of the project, including what has gone wrong, and what brings the rescue manager in front of different members of the project team to ask the questions and get an opportunity to interact with them. This allows an opportunity to start building trust, confidence, and an understanding of their mutual perspectives on the state of the troubled project."

"Several decades of initiatives designed to improve business efficiency through information technology related projects, business strategies, process management, and related initiatives have allowed us to gain an understanding of the common contributors to problems. There is a strong likelihood that some information from body of knowledge, however, will be ever expanding and capturing every potential problem is impossible, or would take up enormous amounts of information. We will continue to augment this list on the publisher's web site, from which you can download a current copy."

"Other sources of information, such as the risk assessment exercise and the quality assurance review, can also be used to enhance this list. Information gained from opening dialogues with different members of the project team on what they felt went wrong and what could be done better can be added to this information. The rescue manager's past experiences should not be overlooked either, including knowledge of the team's abilities, the organization's culture, and anything else that is pertinent to salvaging the project."

"The resulting list of potential problem areas is quite large and needs to be trimmed down - quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Several filters are also defined to help you identify, and then prioritize, the areas that require your focused attention."

"The first filter used the project symptoms that triggered the rescue effort to help pinpoint the areas of focus for the questionnaire with even a higher degree of accuracy. Additional filters can also be used to further refine these results. This process could include relying on personal experiences to add items to the list that were not picked up in any of the source contributors, but that still require further investigation."

"The output of this process includes a set of areas for the rescue manager to focus attention and to ask additional questions to gain a thorough understanding of the project status."

The above is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street, 10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20 years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in rescuing ailing projects.