Apex 3 Blog
A blog to offer ideas, suggestions and techniques to turn around or fix troubled or failed IT projects

You’re the New PM – Suggestions for Taking Over a Troubled IT Project

by Mark Davison February 25. 2011 08:11
  • Meet the team and stakeholders, conduct a rapid review of the current status and problems, and prepare the triage approach and budget plan to move forward 
  • Keep others informed of status and progress, manage expectations, and create visibility (overcommunicate)
  • Understand the scope of the project and any pending change requests, resolve them and ensure others clearly understand the scope of the project
  • Get your arms around the issues list, prioritize the most critical issues to the top and work the list in priority order
  • Determine changes needed in how the project is organized and governed, and implement them to assure the governance structure is appropriate and meaningful so that future oversight can provide the needed guidance, direction and support
  • Define and implement key measurements and reports that can be utilized to track status and monitor progress going forward
  • Identify quick wins and make them happen to evidence your changes taking hold, improve morale and gain momentum
  • Make sure employees/stakeholders are involved in the process, understand their issues and how to address them, keep them informed of progress
  • Validate the IT system features and functionality to assure basic capabilities will support operating the business
  • Review the status of interfaces - system to system, manual to system, or system to manual – they represent places where work processes may change significantly as work is processed and moves through an organization
  • What forms are needed?  Will the new system be able to generate the reports needed to run the business?  What existing reports need to be brought over to the new system, and what new reports need to be developed?
  • What data needs to be converted into the new system to form the initial database(s)?  What data can be left in old systems or stored otherwise for ready access to avoid the often difficult process of conversion?
  • Get a good grasp of the gaps between the functionality offered by the new system and current/future needs, and how each gap will be addressed prior to going live, if required
  • Communicate with important customers, and work processes that interface with or support them as they interact with the business; understand their issues and concerns, and ideas and suggestions
  • Communicate with those vendors who supply critical products or services to your company and ensure that they are on board; understand their issues and concerns, and ideas and suggestions



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About Mark Davison

Mark Davison

After 25+ years of working on and leading projects primarily in IT, I'm establishing this blog to share knowledge, ideas, tips and techniques regarding how to turnaround and fix troubled and failed projects

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