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Objectives of the New Approach

"There are obvious reasons why projects fail, such as a complex business case or lack of adequate funding. However, there are less understood, insidious reasons as well, There are factors that appear to be so obvious that raising them is embarassing. Things slip by because everyone assumes that they are being done correctly."
"A simple example of this is having an executive sponsor who also wants to be the business owner/user. Problems arise when the executive sponsor refuses to play the role of the business user by providing business requirements, but instead just criticizes everything that is placed in front of him or her. This is a prime recipe for project failure that will go unnoticed or at least unarticulated on many projects."
"Nothing should be taken for granted when designing a project rescue. It's not just the difficult or complicated thangs that derail a project - such as complex functionality or technology that is too new to be reliable. Obvious or subtle activities can be just as culpable - and are even more painful because they could have more easily been mitigated."
"In this phase, the rescue manager needs to be very open-minded and thorough in building a plan for moving the project forward. While it's still important to think outside the box, it is necessary to think inside it as well to capture all the possible exposures that face the project. Some of the questions that should be asked when planning the intervention are:
What are the minimum project objectives?
What objectives can be postponed?
Who will make the final business decisions?
What are the new rules of engagement?
What are the new project risks?
Who needs to be involved on a daily basis?
The key objectives of these activities are as follows:
  • Gain an understanding from the executive sponsor about the new scope, acceptance criteria and deliverables. This should be included in the Statement of Work (SOW).
  • Gain acceptance from the executive sponsor and other stakeholders about the new scope, acceptance criteria, and deliverables. This should be included in the Statement of Work (SOW).
  • Articulate what went wrong before the project rescue was invoked without allocating blame, to reduce the likelihood of repetition.
  • Articulate the pros and cons of what is going to be done to salvage the project.
  • Identify future critical decision points. This should be included in the Statement of Work (SOW).
  • Capture the sense of urgency that exists in the organization and put it into constructive action."
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.