Pack Up Your Troubles


Remember—It Can Happen to You
You may not seek out a project rescue. But you can end up on a troubled project without trying. Even the best-run organizations can have an occasional lapse, and some companies make a habit of troubled projects.

Note this article is about "troubled projects," not "doomed projects." You can learn lots on doomed projects, but I doubt you'll find the gain worth the misery. The best thing I ever learned on a fatally wounded project was to say goodbye. It's not always easy to tell the difference, but the chief indicator for me is whether my interventions, and those of my colleagues, are making a positive difference. If a project begins to turn around when the team makes a concerted effort to get it under control, then there are good reasons to stay with it. If you keep your head clear, you will know when that is happening and when it is not.

The strategies I've described can help you maintain the right frame of mind to access your own creativity and devise tactical solutions to project problems. If you can do that, you, too, can enjoy troubled projects and develop your project skills.

About the author

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles

<span class="Text"><strong>Fiona Charles</strong> is a Toronto-based test consultant and manager with thirty years of experience in software development and integration projects. Fiona is the editor of <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Gift of Time</a></em>, featuring essays by consultants and managers of various professions about what they've learned from Gerald M. Weinberg. Through her company, Quality Intelligence, Inc., Fiona works with clients in diverse industries to design and implement pragmatic test and test management practices that match their unique business challenges. Her experiential workshops facilitate tester learning by doing, either on the job or at conferences. Contact Fiona via her Web site at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</span>

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