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When Things Go Wrong … David L. Hamil, PMP, MBA a presentation to PMI-NAC 16 October 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "When Things Go Wrong … David L. Hamil, PMP, MBA a presentation to PMI-NAC 16 October 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 When Things Go Wrong … David L. Hamil, PMP, MBA a presentation to PMI-NAC 16 October 2012

2 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v PM Solutions ® Survey (2011) Firms, on Average, Manage $200M in Projects / yr. > ⅓ (i.e., $74M) of These Projects at Risk of Failing Jobs, Businesses, etc., in Jeopardy Firms with Standard PM Methodology (78%) had < 50% as Many Project Failures as Those Without ~ ¾ (74%) of Troubled Projects that Underwent Recovery Intervention in Past 3 yrs…Recovered! 18% of These Projects have Recovery Efforts that are Still On-going

3 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v What’s the Project Situation? Who Should Lead the Project Recovery Effort? What are the Characteristics and Expectations of the Project Stakeholders during a Crisis? What are the Top Steps to Project Recovery? How to we Know When we’ve Arrived?

4 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Some Symptoms of Troubled Projects

5 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Some Symptoms of Troubled Projects (cont’d)

6 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Some Symptoms of Troubled Projects (cont’d)

7 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Subtle Signs of Troubled Projects Perpetual ‘s but Little Activity Troubling Trends (e.g., dramatic ↑ or ↓ $pending, dramatic changes in work being delivered, changes in  with no approved change request(s)) Lots of TBDs (re: risks, issues mgt., action items) Non-Progress Reports Inability to Show Tangible Results

8 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Project State Normal – when Competing Project Constraints and as- applicable Project Success Factors  Chaos – when chance is supreme or inherent unpredictability in outcome of a situation, event, or [project]. Confusion, disorder, disorganization, mess Crisis -  (turning point for better/worse), decisive moment, unstable or crucial time, … Emergency, crunch time, zero hour. “Defining Moment”

9 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Just Suppose 1. Project Review Conducted and ID’ed a Troubled Project ; we’re at that Defining, “Crisis” Moment 2. Powers that be have Determined Project Still a Viable Venture but not Continue as is What’s the next steps, given we’re embarking on a Project Recovery Effort (i.e., turnaround)?

10 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Unequivocally the PM is One of Most Important Success Factors in Project Recovery; no surprise Significant role in determining cause of troubled project Responsible for effectively managing the process to recover project If/as a senior manager, one of your first tasks is to “get the right leader [in the driver’s seat] on the bus”

11 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Can/should the current PM lead the recovery effort? Based on Experience I Would Say No, unless this is a sudden crisis! We need a PM w/ fair amount of project turnaround experience to substantially ensure success Turnaround is transformational…need a PM who will challenge the status quo We now have a new leader (PM) and a former PM

12 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Should the former PM remain “on the bus” to be mentored and learn from the new leader? Depends His/her character and attitude Who team members and external team (e.g., customer) have allegiance to If former PM to remain “on the bus,” he/she step aside, responsibilities altered, to allow PM do his/her job If in doubt now, or if determined later that he/she should be “off bus,” then displace swiftly

13 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v “Leadership is not about the ability of those around you to lead; it’s about your ability to lead, despite what’s happening around you.” -- Neal Whitten

14 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Create a work environment where each team member is empowered to contribute his/her Expertise, Skills, and Experience to team’s tasks Strong leadership and team members who likely will be called on to Work together for 1 st time Work outside “normal” schedules Think “outside of box” to solve problems quickly and effectively Be open and flexible to change, as situation will likely evolve and may grow worse before it gets better. I.e., improvise and respond to real-time experiences that inform actions …

15 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v A New Mission …

16 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Failure is not an Option [on My Watch]

17 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Krantz quickly built a team culture around the norms of Optimism Positive Attitude Failure was not an option [on his watch] Encouraged team to focus on keeping their cool Solving the problem by focusing on what was working Trust based on expertise and preparation

18 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Krantz’s “Tiger Team 20 different types of specialists and engineers Put through flight simulations to learn how to make correct decisions under time pressures to reinforce the importance of team knowing what to do during each phase of crisis situation Co-located by “functional expertise,” to facilitate communication Developed a strong sense of camaraderie

19 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Krantz led both the Houston-based team and the Apollo 13 crew through the crisis and to a state of normalcy because “he really led, despite what was happening around him,” and with steadfast determination that “failure was not an option on his watch.” His “Tiger Team,” over the course of 4 days, became believers too that “failure was not an option on their watch”

20 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Teamwork in crisis situations necessitates balancing internal operations with those who are external to core team but are affected by results To prevent crises in crisis situation, team needs to scan external environment and think about the implications of their actions as they relate to external stakeholders

21 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Three Steps: 1. Assessment – PM via interviews, project plans, status reports, other project artifacts Purpose of Assessment is to review and document in a “State of the Project” report the deltas between actual and expectations re: Goals & Objectives, Scope, Resources, Quality, Risks, Financials, Schedule/milestones

22 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Assessment (cont’d) Dual Purpose for “State of the Project” Report 1. Will be shared with key decision-makers and other key parties where options discussed and “response” decided (re-start, recover, re-scope) 2. Info in report (in whole or in part) could be key in re-baselining the project

23 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Step # 2. Planning – Based on “response” from Assessment and “State of the Project” report a. Develop a new plan (“Recovery Plan”) b. Determine resources needed to recover project c. Communicate Recovery Plan; thus resetting expectations d. As applicable, PM should obtain senior management and customer sign-off on Recovery Plan

24 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Step # 3. Execution – time for PM to lead his/her team into action using project mgt best practices and these tips and guidelines a. Co-location b. Daily Scrum c. Action Log d. Progress/Status Report e. Communication f. Non-panicked Urgency g. Decisiveness

25 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Step # 3. Execution (cont’d) h. Flexibility i. Who’s in Charge? j. Watch the Basket

26 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Hiding issues and failing to disclose problems risk surprising our customer and our leadership! “Bad news does not get better with time!” “There is a time in the life of every problem when it is big enough to see, yet small enough to solve” -- Mike Leavitt

27 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Another aid to recovery is Attitude Approach ALL situations with a “can do, take ownership” attitude that gives our customer and senior management the confidence that we are addressing the issues and working toward resolution Our “finest hour” is when we take ownership of a problem and correct our mistakes

28 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Project Recovery Successful? Once achieved, I recommend keeping the PM and his/her Tiger Team intact and monitoring the project for period of time to substantially ensure project situation remains at condition: “normal” Conduct a “Project _____ Recovery Retrospective”

29 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Experience is a powerful teacher We need to glean the lessons from problems and mistakes, and not be guilty of repeating the negative history of our past We pat the heroes on the back who resolve issues to customer satisfaction but let’s not forget the heroes that planned ahead and prevented or lessoned the severity of problems

30 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v I encourage you to: Exercise recovery, when needed Communicate effectively

31 vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvv v Q & A, Comments?


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