Programme and Project Recovery

Failed programmes or projects can be very costly. They have an impact not only financially but also on brand and customer loyalty. Whether a troubled project ultimately succeeds or fails depends on the effectiveness of the actions taken to recover the project. Before these actions can be taken, however, organizations need to be able to recognize problems and prepare to take appropriate corrective measures.

In our experience there are some common areas where projects ultimately fail and it is useful to know where to look to identify early signs.

  • Requirements – Unclear, lack of agreement, no priorities, contradictory, vague. Unrealistic objectives at board level.
  • Resources – Insufficient, resource conflicts, lack of subject matter experts and technical expertise. Using Business As Usual resources to deliver.
  • Schedules – Too tight, over optimistic and not realistic.
  • Planning – Insufficient data, lack of detail and low understanding of dependencies.
  • Risks – Not identified, or more commonly just not owned and managed.

The positive news is that when a decision is made to intervene, project recoveries are generally highly successful with some simple yet highly effective turnaround strategies.

  • Improve communication and stakeholder engagement.
  • Redefine the project whether that means changing the project scope or resetting the business case.
  • Add and/or remove resources.
  • Resolve problematic technical issues as a matter of urgency.

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