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"You can certainly focus on all the problem categories and assemble the questions into a questionnaire - however, this takes a lot of time and energy, both of which are going to be in short supply during a project rescue. There are several filters that you can use to reduce the list of categories that require your attention because every project is not going to experience a problem in each of these categories. Similarly, projects may also be experiencing problems in categories that are not included in th is list or that were not considered common enough at the time of writing."

"The project symptoms that were identified in this section are a first filter in identifying the areas of greatest pain. Trace the symptoms back to the categories to identify the core problem. However, there may be some underlying problems that have not yet manifested as symptoms, but which may creep out during the project rescue. Be careful not to discount the other categories too early in the assessment phase."

"Feedback from other members of the team can also be used to determine which categories and problems to include or exclude in your questionnaire. Similarly, the original project manager and your own experiences need to be reflected in the questions that are selected from the preceding list and new questions that are formulated."

"Project classification, which will be discussed when a rescue plan is being built later in this book, can also act as another filter. Certain project attributes result in a strong predisposition toward certain problems. By organizing the attributes into a couple of categories that can define project, you can begin to shorten the list of potential problems into the most likely causes, and then focus your attention to get the most pertinent details. Some reasonable categories to consider include project length, project costs, and industry type."

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.