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Review Project Audit Results

Key Question: Does the project plan exist?

"Hopefully, at first glance, this question seems absurd. We've already stated the project plan is the most important tool for managing a project. However, if you find your runaway project is sailing along without a formal, documented project plan, you are in the deepest hole from which to climb. Don't panic - there is a road to recovery."

"First, interview the technical team members and find out what they're doing. Those hours are piling up so something must be getting effort expended against it. Ask each team member to lay out their activities and tasks, hours expended on each task and their estimate to complete their open tasks. This will at least give you an idea of what has been done and maybe even what needs to be done."

"Next, get a copy of a project template that includes all activities and tasks. The first place to look is your development methodology. If you do not have a development methodology, check with your on-site employees and consultants. Someone somewhere has a project template stashed away. It may not even be a good one, but it is better than trying to cobble a plan from scratch. Rebuild the plan with all tasks. Be sure to account for all deliverables in the project charter. Most importantly, make sure you have reasonable and realistic estimates for all outstanding tasks. This is not the time for planned heroics. Your goal here is to quantify the effort needed to complete the project. By knowing the hours needed for each task as well as the task dependencies, you can derive the cost and schedule. With this information in hand, you and your enterprise can make an informed decision with respect to stopping the project or continuing to move forward."

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.