When budgets are dwindling, deadlines passing, and tempers flaring, the usual response is to browbeat the project team and point fingers of blame. Not helpful. For these situations, what is needed is an objective process for accurately assessing what is wrong and a clear plan of action for fixing the problem. "Rescue the Problem Project" provides project managers, executives, and customers with the answers they require. Turnaround specialist Todd Williams has worked with dozens of companies in multiple industries resuscitating failing projects. In this new book, he reveals an in-depth, start-to-finish process that includes: techniques for identifying the root causes of the trouble; steps for putting projects back on track audit the project, analyze the data, negotiate the solution, and execute the new plan; nearly 70 real-world examples of what works, what doesn't, and why; and, guidelines for avoiding problems in subsequent projects. Many books explain how to run a project, but only this one shows how to bring it back from the brink of disaster. And with 65 per cent of projects failing to meet goals and 25 per cent cancelled outright, that's essential information.
Review By: James A. Ward 09/19/2011Rescue the Problem Project by Todd C. Williams is an excellent project management book. If you are involved in managing a problem project, there is a great deal of information in this book that will prove valuable. The discussion at the end of the book on how to ensure that projects do not get into trouble in the first place makes it a good buy if you want to ensure that your project doesn't need rescuing.
Williams presents project turnaround information clearly and logically, with numerous case studies and examples clarifying all critical points throughout the book. He emphasizes two underlying themes which must always be considered and addressed in problem projects.
The first theme is the inevitable source of project problems, which is people—the project manager, the project team, organizational management, or the customer. Projects don’t fail; people do. These people are also the essential partners in any project recovery efforts, and Williams has excellent suggestions on how to manage their involvement in getting the project back on track.
The second underlying theme stresses the need for project-recovery manager authority. Without the authority to make the necessary and sometimes difficult decisions that are required, project turnaround cannot be achieved. Williams includes some helpful tips on negotiating for the authority to replace team members, change the project scope, or override organizational policies and procedures—all steps that may be required for project recovery. The project manager must be able and willing to make the difficult decisions to turn a project around, and Williams also explores that aspect of project rescue.
Many of the concepts presented in the book rely on advanced project management principles and methodologies. Though thoroughly explained and well documented, this subject matter is not a discussion for novices.