This 2 minute blog provides managers with steps they can take to detect and correct project problems. Before it is too late.

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History speaks to us – Apollo 13 – one of the largest projects ever with lots of managers and every control and oversight imaginable – was on its way to a moon landing when astronauts spotted technical problems. They informed Mission Control of the problems with those famous words, “Houston, we have a problem.”  Those words set off days of management turmoil, scrambling and organization crisis.

With 40 – 50% of projects failing in the US, it is absolutely certain that “Houston, we have a problem” calls are made every day to managers at most companies; perhaps yours?  It shouldn’t come as a surprise if you have an uneasy feeling that you’re due to get one of these calls.

Given that 30 – 50 % of projects are led by Project Managers who are considered too light for this key role (this is considered one of the main reasons that projects fail), the PM function is a perfect place to start asking some questions:

  • What is the PM’s level of confidence of project success?
  • How can I validate the PM’s assessment?
  • Is the list of risks constantly revisited? Have new risks been identified?
  • Is the current PM, like many others serving in that role today, not able to fully meet the challenges of the project?
  • Are there any outstanding issues/problems festering in the project that can turn into “project killers”?
  • Are stakeholders expressing concerns or reservations?
  • What can I do now to get ahead of the problem?

Take a page from the Apollo 13 playbook: Start early, seek help, gather data, assess and act before events get totally out of control and you have to face serious consequences.

Whether you’re project is on its landing approach, in flight, or about to take off, you have many options. Below are some options for how we can help you make certain your important project is successful, with different time lines (or different levels of commitment or some such).

  • Option # 1 – Get a 24 Hour “Gut Check” Diagnostic of Your Project
  • Option # 2 – Get a 72 Hour “Look Under the Hood” Analysis of Your Project
  • Option # 3 – Conduct a Role, Resources and Risk Assessment
  • Option # 4 – Perform a Triage of PM Resources with a Remediation and Recommendations Plan

Summit Technology Partners provides High Impact Project Management resources and a lineup of project services, including the options listed above, that focus on your project success, Project Manager effectiveness and quality. We work in sprints that last 30 days or less.