Need to Improve Your Project Recovery Process? Consistent Documentation Is Crucial

May 15, 2022
When you think about it, project recovery is a project in and of itself, whether or not a special team is assigned. A slight dip in performance can suddenly spiral when proper control isn’t exerted. Documentation may be the most critical aspect in preventing a project’s freefall. Proper reporting defines the project’s scope, cost, and schedule and identifies relevant and irrelevant concerns. Accurate and concise documentation can answer several questions critical to recovery.

Should the Project’s Scope Be Reduced?

From the outset, it’s advisable to set a rigid scope for any project. Scope creep can be highly detrimental to success as it promotes inconsistency and change that create frustration and other issues related to morale. With that in mind, project managers sometimes set a fixed scope that is too large. If documentation reveals consistent failures to deliver tasks on schedule, it may be appropriate to consider reducing the project’s scope.

Should Some Tasks Be Put On the Fast Track?

Again, project failure is almost invariably a case of things not happening or not happening within their allotted deadline. Rearranging priorities is one possible solution. Suppose certain tasks cannot be completed in their designated timeframe. In that case, the answer may be to allocate further human resources or work hours while reducing staff or setting tighter deadlines for tasks consistently being completed well in advance. Documentation allows the recovery team to identify both areas and make adjustments.

Is Overtime the Answer?

Management and executives never like the idea of paying overtime. It can put a project over budget and definitely affects profit margins. Some employees like the notion of a larger paycheck in the short term but can become disillusioned when the hours begin to mount over an extended period. 
Overtime is a better solution when data suggests the project can be quickly brought back on schedule. Conversely, overtime with no end in sight is a high-risk, low-reward solution. It’s advisable to set and stick to a limit on overtime hours.

Is Recovery Absolutely Essential?

No one likes to have a loss on their record, but here’s the thing. Conditions change, sometimes beyond our control. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven that point home. Project status reports should indicate whether work in progress aligns with baseline cost and scheduling projections. Assuming work in progress repeatedly fails to meet those projections or deviations in specific metrics are revealed, the project manager should undertake an updated risk analysis with the following questions in mind:
  • Are there sufficient funds to continue?
  • Should more be allocated?
  • Do unexpected changes necessitate altered priorities or needs?
  • Do these changes indicate the project should be delayed or abandoned altogether?

If the updated risk analysis determines the project should continue but doesn’t present solutions to continuing delays, CEOs should ask one further question.

Should the Project Recovery Be Outsourced?

Sometimes, an in-house project management or recovery team lacks the experience or knowledge to rescue a struggling project. When that occurs, companies should consult a professional project management firm.

Experienced and dedicated project management leaders are ideal partners to rescue flagging projects. Book an introductory call with Project Genetics now to learn how we can help you.

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