Finally, during the recovery period, it is important to keep your team positive – build in milestones to allow you to publicize and praise even small achievements. Build a momentum based on success, so that the team and other stakeholders perceive it as “normal” to meet milestones, and in contrast, missing a milestone is unusual and stands out amongst all the other successes.
Before I get into the specific ideas concerning planning and how I recommend that you do it, there are a number of things that I would like to say about the subject at an overview level.
Common Recovery Theme
Fn Rn – Requirements Gathering (Where nis the Functionality Number)
Project failure is preventable with good project planning based on a well-constructed deliverables-based Work Breakdown Structure and proper controls. However, once a project starts to fail, there are techniques to recognize it, minimize the extent of the failure and make the recovery as successful as possible. There may be some casualties along the way, such as some reduction in scope, additional time, and/or additional cost, but with good project planning and timely intervention where required, these can be minimized. A project manager needs to be trained in these techniques not only to recover a failing project, but more importantly, reduce the chances of creating one themselves in the future!
The Project Plan is one of the most important and useful documents in your toolkit, and should be referred to and updated throughout the project lifecycle. Its initial purpose is to kick-start the project by convincing the decision makers (usually the people who control the funds e.g. the Project Board or Steering Committee) that the project is viable and and will meet their needs and timeframes / budgets / expectations. If the Project Plan is poorly written or contains insufficient detail, the project may not even get past this first decision gate and may never actually get off the ground. Many viable projects have floundered at this stage due to poor planning and communication. On the flip side, if you can deliver a great Project Plan, it establishes your credibility as a Project Manager, starts the project on a sound footing, and provides the team with a mandate for action and a clear direction to follow.
A Hypothetical Case Study – “Retail Pharmacy Medicines Dispensing System (RPMDS)
The first consideration in most cases is going to be the cost of the project. Typically a large amount of money can be saved with a do-it-yourself project due to the fact that you can eliminate the mark up costs on material and completely cut out paying for someone else’s labor costs. Keep in mind, however, that there is still a cost on your own time and that it will usually take longer to complete the project which will vary according to your own skill sets and comfort with the tasks needed to complete the project.