Project Turnaround

Projects often get stalled and are at risk of failing to deliver on results. When this happens, the typical response is to throw more “science” at the project – more meetings, more processes, and more templates. But often that is not where the real problem lies, and incorrect responses only exacerbate the problem further. Our team of experienced personnel can do a rapid diagnostic, re-baseline the project and bring both the “art and science” needed to turn around the project.

How We Can Help

If you have projects that are in danger of failing to deliver on their intended results, we can help. Our carefully selected advisors and experienced consultants will come and assess your unique situation and develop an approach customized to getting your project back on track. We will work with the “wins” and strengths you and your project have already achieved – and along with your tools and methods, along with our own proprietary tools – will help to turn around the project with the least amount of disruption.

Specifically, we can help you with objectives such as:

  • Quickly stabilizing the negative situation that is threatening the project
  • Help you prepare a recovery plan to get the project back on track
  • Recover all or most of the intended project objectives and business results
  • Maintain effective leadership and motivation throughout the difficult period
  • Serve as a liaison with concerned project stakeholders both within your organization and out

Key Considerations

Questions to Ask

  • Are we in danger of having a project not meet its desired business results?
  • Do we have the internal capability and knowledge to turn around this project ourselves?
  • What is/are the root cause(s) of our project failure? How did these causes arise?
  • What are the negative impacts to the organization if this project fails?
  • Is project recovery attainable, or is it better to cancel the project entirely?
  • The most difficult aspects of projects tend to be people related. For example executives often identify “changing mindsets and attitudes” and “corporate culture” as main barriers to project success.
  • Do we have the necessary “science” and “art” skills to address these potential root causes of project failure?

Thoughts to Consider

  • Bloch, Blumberg & Laarz examined more than 5,400 large-scale IT projects and reported that 17% had gone so seriously wrong that they threatened the very existence of the organizations concerned.
  • Although continuously high failure rates have been observed, projects are often critical to the operations and competitiveness of an organization.
  • The documented high rates of project failure suggest that ineffective project management strategies and poor risk management are widespread, and that organizations are not learning from their project experiences in order to improve their success rates.
  • The post-project assessment is an important, yet frequently overlooked, stage of project management. Effective use of post project assessments is likely to be one of the most reliable ways of reducing the risk of project failure and maximizing the business value of the project management function on future projects.

The benefits of a successful project turnaround are numerous: better business performance, increased team morale, recovered resources, successful stakeholder buy-in and most importantly – achievement of desired business results. Additional benefits can include:

  • Consideration of alternative courses of action, including time frame estimates and potential financial returns
  • Achievement of all or most of the original project objectives
  • Enhancing the confidence of interested project stakeholders