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"Congratulations! You've recovered your runaway project and you are being showered with praise and honor. But the question remains - was this recovery the result of a disciplined approach or dumb luck, or a combination of both? Hopefully, you have been using a form of the process described in the previous chapters that has been tailored to your company's culture and particular needs. But how can you be sure the recovery was process oriented? More important, how can you be sure your company won't fall into the same traps the next time it embarks on a significant project? In this section, we discuss how to conduct a deeper forensic project review and how to document lessons learned so they can be referenced in future projects."

The Forensic Project Review

"Now that your project has been successfully completed, it's time to find out what really happened. To do so, you are going to use a technique that should be very familiar to you at this point in your journey. The forensic project review has components that are very similar to the project audits you have been conducting in the recovery process. This review goes deeper into the process to ascertain the root cause(s) of the initial project failure. Once the root cause or causes are identified, your company will be in a position to prevent further runaway project by implementing new or revised methods, procedures, and policies. In the forensic project review, we look at the four key categories in which projects tend to get out of control:
  • Project management - one of the leading causes of failed projects. Click the link to the left to learn more about poor project management and its effect on projects.
  • Executive support - without it the project manager will not be as influential as possible and results will suffer. Learn more about this aspect of project support by clicking on the link.
  • Subject matter expert involvement - every project needs the technical expertise of the "smees" (Subject Matter Experts or SMEs) to succeed. The availability and quality of these resources can make or break a project. Read more about SMEs and their effect on the project by clicking on the link.
  • Project team skill levels