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Maintaining the Project Rescue Plan

Updating the Plan

"Contradictions may be collected during the validation activities from different stakeholders and team members. The rescue manager will need to resolve these and build a revised plan that will again need to be validated. Contradictions that cannot be resolved will need to be tabled and dealt with when new information becomes available. The contingency that is available to the project team will be necessary to accommodate this."

Tracking

"Tracking is also a problematic activity. How do you know that the tracking information you are receiving is accurate? Team members have their own perspectives, often aligning with an extreme viewpoint that is either too optimistic or pessimistic. Neither of these approaches is particularly helpful within the tight tolerances of a project rescue. You need to look around and find your own way of identifying accurate information. This may require you to offset information that is reported to you. If a particular team leader tends to report pessimistically, you might try and change that leader or figure out a reasonable offset to apply to the reported information going forward."

Management Tools

"All the project planning is going to be done with certain tools. Are you using an appropriate project management tool? Is it too complex? Does it do some things in a very complicated manner? Are you even using the tools for the right purpose? Is an appropriate tool being forced on you for procedural reasons? Be careful not to let this common problem destroy your chances for conducting a successful rescue operation."

Misuse of the Project Plan

"Is the project plan being used for the right reasons? Is it causing too much overhead work from the project team? Is the information being assessed on the plan accurate?"

"Because the project plan contains a great deal of information, it lends itself to misuse in the name of efficiency. Why not use it to calculate and track the project budget because all the detailed involvement of the resources is shown step by step? Why create an extra status report when the plan can be used to show what is complete and what is not?"

"The answers to these questions will be obvious at the end of a project that has not succeeded. For example, to use a project plan for a detailed budget analysis will require a significant amount of extra time when it is being updated and maintained. This creates a bottleneck around updating the project plan, which makes tracking more difficult."

"In the second example, how do you store and manipulate open and closed issues using a status report? What about simple action lists such as 'Amanda will take minutes in the next workshop?' Do you really want to keep that level of excruciating detail in a project plan? The ripple impacts are insidious. The maintenance overhead becomes a nightmare, so it becomes difficult to keep the plan up-to-date. It either gets out of date or a lot of work that could be spent on active ventures is spent on administrative activities. There may be larger gaps between status meetings, or the rapid culture of a project rescue may be discouraged."

Maintaining the Project Plan