When projects get out of control, they take on lives of their own. They can begin to look like teenagers that are behind on their schoolwork. They are no fun to be around, they consume large quantities of resources, itís almost impossible to discover what the problem is, and they have a huge amount of protective pride. The challenge is how to fix them, not how to prove you are right. Phase 1. Find it. Runaway Projects have flags or indicators that can help you find them. Some of them include:
1. Budget overruns more than 20% 2. Schedule overruns of more than 20% 3. Frequent scope and delivery revisions 4. Team Strife 5. Poor Communication 6. Unclear Roles and Responsibilities 7. It just feels bad
Phase 2. Understand it. Once a project has been identified as runaway, it is important to delve into the root causes of the problem:
Were realistic project objectives and were they clearly defined?
Was their sufficient support to achieve success?
Was the project well managed?
What other factors could be causing the challenges?
Phase 3. Fix it. Now that the root causes of the runaway are understood, itís time to step back and fix the problem.
Disband the project if appropriate
Scope, size, and define it
Fix the mechanics: Strong project management, metrics, etc.
Tie the right level of corporate support to the project team