Have you ever been brought into a troubled project late in the game? Were you expected to save the day? As a PM, this can be stressful and intimidating. To some degree, it is an unfair expectation of the PM. Unfortunately, this is a still very common in many organizations. They start a project without a PM or someone without PM skills, and somewhere along the way, they realize they are in trouble. If you are the PM that gets the call, here are 3 things to keep top of mind:
Get Over It
Everyone knows that you should have been there from the beginning. At first, you will be overwhelmed by information overload and the multitude of issues. Don’t spend too much time worrying about it. Do a rapid root cause analysis, then move quickly towards solutions.
Get To Work
When the door is opened, don’t skip steps, just accelerate on the path. Establish clear expectations of roles, responsibilities and scope of engagement immediately. Engage the team. Create a realistic plan and aim for quick wins. Conduct a full risk assessment and work the priority issues.
Get It Done
Don’t just make it happen, make it happen right. Be realistic about where the project stands, but optimistic about where it can end up. Many projects don’t need to make a full turn around; they just need to turn the corner to reach success. You may encounter dead ends, detours, speed bumps and potholes along the journey. Just keep driving.
Remember, the project has a greater chance of success with your late arrival than it would have had if you never showed! When it comes to facing a troubled project, you are better late than never!
If you found these tips from Lakecia Carter, PMP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.
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