Friday, July 17, 2015

What We Can Do About It (4)

Step one was to consider the skills of the project manager, step two was to consider the needs of the organisation, and step three was to consider the projects and make sure they are business critical. But we can't just stop there, for even if a project is business critical it can still go wrong or cease to be business critical. The way we deal with these two potential problems is: 

Review the Projects
So step four is to put processes in place to ensure that all projects are reviewed at set times during the project life-cycle. 

What is needed is some form of peer review process, where a small team (external to the project) or just a single person for a small project, carries out a quick review against a standard check-list. Ideally this would be at the end of each project stage. The process is sometimes referred to as a gateway review process and uses a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) traffic signal against each point on the check list. Red is critical and urgent: the problem must be addressed or the project will fail. Amber is critical but not urgent: the problem should be addressed before any further key decisions are made. Green: the project is on track on this point. 

This process is nice and simple and I like ‘simple’ processes. Used properly the process works as it ensures that projects that are going wrong get fixed or stopped before they can have a serious impact on the business. It also checks that projects still are critical to the business.

So those are the four steps I believe we can take to stop projects going wrong. In the next post I will start to look at deploying them in an organisation.

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