Presentation on theme: "Project Failures and Turning Around Troubled Projects"— Presentation transcript:
1Project Failures and Turning Around Troubled Projects Zubin Irani, PMP, CSMCEO & Co-FounderTwitter: @iranizubincPrime, Inc.4100 E. Third Ave, Suite 205Foster City, CA 94404
2About cPrimecPrime provides Agile and Project Management staffing, consulting, and training services. A focus on Project Management provides industry leading personnel and comprehensive courses in Project and Program Management through cPrime Training Center.
4Success = Satisfied Customers, Users and IT Success is not “planned scope, on time, on budget”We may think this wayCustomers don’t (even if they say they do…)Success is “customer satisfaction with responsiveness and the right functionality”Customers want features that will help them increase revenues or meet their management objectivesCustomers want to be included in the projectThey want predictable and consistent resultsSuccess is “the team is proud of what they’ve implemented”People talk about that project team for years to comeManagement truly celebrates successes with the teamValue is added to the organizationPeople feel that everyone worked equally hard to make the project a success4
5Failure = Everyone Unhappy Project Team is burned out and miserableBusiness Customers feel like they paid too much for something they don’t wantIT Management got their butts chewed outCIO got his butt chewed out by his bossBusiness Exec got chewed out because they missed their numbersSome people get fired or functionally demoted!Vendors get sued and/or don’t get paidThe effects last for a very very long time!
6Let’s talk about past project problems Pick two recent projects and discuss with your neighbor:What went wrong?When did you identify that there was a problem?What symptoms did you see?What does a Project in trouble look like?
7What does “trouble” look like? No one on the project knows when the project will finishThe project’s deliverables are loaded with errors and defectsManagement is unable to forecast a project completion date or estimate to completionRequirements keep changingInconsistent goals and constraintsThe customer has lost confidence that the project team will ever deliver the promised deliverablesThe morale of the project team is very lowThe team is experiencing irresolvable conflictsInterpersonal relations between project team members are highly strainedManagement is considering the cancellation of the projectMany deliverables have been 90 percent complete for a long time
8Example Project – CRM Implementation New CRM implementation10,000 users50 call centersImpacting Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Finance, & IT organizationsProject is late, many bugs, burned out resources, and very politicalDoes this sound familiar?
9CRM Implementation Project Example Business environment was rapidly changing resulting in new initiatives and project requirementsExisting requirements changing due to unknown deliverablesManagement surprised by new/changing tasks and by a large budget change requestTeams were seeing issues but weren’t communicating themHave you ever been asked to Turnaround a Troubled Project?
10Your Role as the Turn-Around Project Manager Internal vs External Project ManagerInfluenceAbility to affect changeTraitsDrivenSolution focusedPositive
11The right turnaround Project Manager A great Project Manager is a LeaderControls emotionsMakes other people look goodCommunicates clearly, succinctly and regularlyBuilds Trust with other peopleInspiresCreative Problem-SolverDetailed OrientedBrings positive energy
12Your choices Continue the project as is and accept the risks Very expensive, poor deliverables, loss of reputationStop the projectSunk costs lost, no value to the business, loss of reputationContinue the project but make key changes to get back on trackAn opportunity to deliver valueIdentify the problems and take actionOnly the last option to continue and make changes is viable for most any organization
13Treat it like a new project Plan of attackAcknowledge that there’s a problemGather Project InformationReview the problems and solutions with the sponsors & stakeholdersPlan the project recoveryExecute the recovery and get the project back on track!Treat it like a new project
141. Acknowledge that there’s a problem Meet with the project sponsors and stakeholders to discuss their perception of the project’s history and intentions:Understand their expectations and how they define successLimit the discussions and findings to project issuesActivities associated with recovering a project may be highly sensitive to human emotions and reactions.There are no canned solutions for a troubled projectBe realistic with what can be done to “fix” the projectBe open-minded and ready to changeFirst step to re-building trust and credibility
15CRM Implementation Project Example Acknowledging the problemsCost and schedule overruns triggered discussions about project healthPresented and disclosed core problems and agreed to make the necessary changes to fix itLet them know additional funding, resources and a change in timeline is inevitableExamplesNow, let’s go Gather Project Data…
162. Gather Project Information Gather project details to determine where the project went off trackHow is “trouble” defined?More than just scope/schedule/budget – what metrics available?What work remains to be done? Will it provide appropriate deliverables?Root cause of these project problems?Stakeholder expectationsAudit documentationMost answers and solutions already exist ---- extract the information from the team members, organize and use it to help solve the problemsHow does a company or PMO define “trouble” or “failure”Does the organization have any project metrics that can be used to discover where problems may exist?Validate the remaining scope – what work needs to be done? Does it align with stakeholder expectations?What caused the project to get off track?What do the stakeholders expect from you? What is within your ability to change?Document the assessment of the project and potential solutions
17Review Project Metrics and Reporting All earned value metric (Cost variance, CPI, Schedule variance, SPI, etc)Task list and tasks completedInitial requirements and changed logsResource turnover, resource changesOvertime rateDefect data/Error LogsProblem dataVerify that all work reported as "done" is in fact completed.Validate the current status of all activities.Investigate weekly and monthly status reports, problem and issues logs, and memos.A lot of Troubled Projects will be missing some of these items!
18Review Project Processes and Documentation Recurring project and management meetings? Notes from each meeting?How does the project team track and respond problems and issues?What reports are used? How are these reports gathered?What processes are there? Are the processes documented? Are the processes appropriate to control the project and respond to problems?
19Capture and summarize your audit findings Project summary/backgroundSponsors, stakeholders, and approversAudit team membersInitial Project CharterBusiness caseRisksDeliverable defectsKey findings/Root cause of problemsRecommendationsImmediate action plansImpact to original project budget, schedule, and deliverablesTransparency is key to re-building Trust
20CRM Implementation Project Example Audit FindingsFound there were over 800 defects in Integration Testing, due to a hobbled environment and lack of unit testing by developmentThere wasn’t any data in the Performance Test environment, so the Performance Team was spending 3 days to seed enough data for a 2 hour performance testBudget was 22% over forecasted labor projectionsRequirements changes were changing constantly and were not being tracked or managedTeams weren’t as far along as they had been reporting to managementTest and development teams were pointing fingers at each otherThere wasn’t an integrated project plan that was being managed
213. Review Problems and Solutions Re-establish stakeholder confidence in the projectPresent solutions as one of the many options to get the project back on trackSet realistic timelines and budgetsOutline factors beyond your control and provide a mitigation plan if possibleOwn the new project – you have inherited the problems and successful completion will be your winStay confident admit the difficulty of the challengeDiscuss the impact of rebuilding the project teamReBRAND EVERYTHINGWhat are some solutions you’ve used before?
224. Plan the Solution Work with core team leads as needed Work more Get more productivity out of your team with over timeFocus resources on critical tasksChange up the teamAdd more efficient or knowledgeable resourcesCrash the scheduleLock down scopeIncrease the budgetChange or create project processes+ dozens more
23CRM Implementation Project Example Project SolutionsBring in outside Subject Matter Experts and technical resourcesLock down all scope changesSet up steering committee to review issues and technical solutionsBreak deliverables into phases to delivery project value soonerSwap out Team Leads that were under performing and weren’t willing to collaborate with counter-partsDesignate a Project Coordinator to manage labor hours and expenses
245. Execute Your RecoveryClosely monitor recovery activities and changesMake changes as needed to ensure successDocument all activitiesMeet with leadership and keep them aprised of progress, setbacks and course of correctionChampion your recovery successesYou are fighting an uphill battle ---- marketing is even more important!
25CRM Implementation Project Example Recovery Execution and ResultsEstimates more accurate, delivered new requirements on time and on budgetSteering committee adapted for all future large roll outsAble to complete new project (updated requirements) within 2 months of original schedule
26Lessons Learned (The Hard Way) Summarize all discoveries into one documentReview how project was recovered with sponsors and stakeholdersImplement changes in PMO process and planning (if possible)Let’s make sure the organization doesn’t get into this mess again
27A Few Case StudiesLet’s share some personal examples where the problems were with:Troubled PersonnelTroubled ProcessesPersonnel – 1) tech resources not engaged, didn’t provide estimates 2) technical resources not current on new technology, felt they would be replaced, were not being trainedProcesses – QA processes don’t involve business, no regression testing, no validation of fixes = poor product quality