Amacom - Modern Project Management (Ocr) - 2001 ! - (By Laxxuss)

101 determining what went wrong often when a project

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Unformatted text preview: hile it probably does not hurt to promote an awareness of risk, the author is of the opinion that the project manager needs something a little more concrete than this. If the reader gets only one thing from the reading of this chapter, it should be that risk can and should be quantified by contingency and that contingency budgets should be allocated consistently with the way the work is to be done so that they can be managed in the same way and with the same tools that the project is managed . Page 243 Chapter 10— Rescuing a Failing Project One of the least favorite thoughts of most experienced project managers is the prospect of taking over the management of a project that is failing. We are not talking about a project that is simply over budget or behind schedule that higher management thinks would benefit from a change in project management. In this chapter we consider a project that has been deemed a failure and that needs someone to take over its orderly shutdown or one where the question is whether attempting to save it is worthwhile. In both these cases, there is usually an attempt to discover what went wrong and to document it. In the first case, problems are often documented because of the legal ramifications in case of a dispute over damages. In the second case they are documented so that those trying to make a decision regarding an attempt at salvaging the project have something on which to base their decision. In both cases, expediency is required. In the first case, since project shutdown has already been determined, much of the workforce can be dismissed to other projects. But, in the case where project shutdown has not been decided on, it is necessary for the project to continue operating in parallel with the analysis. 10.1— Determining What Went Wrong Often, when a project has failed or is near failure, one of the contributing causes is that the methods discussed in the previ - Page 244 ous chapters of this book were not applied. However, just attempting to apply these methods does not guarantee a successful project. Failed projects often employ the same methods that are used on successful projects. Some companies have standardized project management methods and yet experience both successes and failures. Consequently, in determining what went wrong, we may have to search more deeply than just the project management methods that were employed. In preparation for this search, let us first consider the possible causes for project failure. We have already discussed, in Chapter 3, the three reasons projects do not progress as planned. But, for determining the reasons for project failure, we need to go back even further. We need to consider what preceded the plan, that is, what the plan was based on. Depending on the purpose of the project, the project plan may be based upon a variety of different things. For instance, if the project is to design a computer system, the project plan may be based upon a design methodology, whereas, if the project is to build a building, the pr...
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This note was uploaded on 01/11/2011 for the course ACC 9 taught by Professor Yeetan during the Spring '10 term at Sunway University College.

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