Definition & Symptoms of Project Trouble

No one organization has the same definition of “trouble”
Symptom should act as alert of deeper problem
Symptom are manifestation of problem
They are not necessary the problem itself
They can be a trend toward time, cost and scope
Sample Symptoms:
1. Low team morale
2. Consistently missing milestone
3. Incomplete documentation
4. High defects
5. More unresolved issues
6. Lack of corrective actions
7. Change on requirements
8. Stakeholders start losing the interest
9. More unreported problems
10. Defensive attitude start showing up
11. Lack of trust
12. Unhealthy team conflict

Trouble = Certain event or condition that has already occurred or will inevitably occur with a negative impact.
Risk = Unpredictable / uncertain event or condition that if it occurs, has a positive or negative impact.

Risk <> Trouble

From above symptoms, there will be a time we have to rescue the project by triggering rescue event.
Below are possible rescue outcomes:
1. Successful completion, Project completed successfully within original tolerances for time, cost,
    people and quality.
2. Deliverables redefined, Time and cost estimates and/or project scope re-evaluated and redefined. Solution
     to root causes implemented, project continues with new baseline.
2. Graceful termination

Points to note during rescuing project:
– Sensitive to existing project team (Entry Point)
– Create value but not hindrance (Planning)
– Build trust (Executing)
– Daily tracking (Monitoring & Controlling)
– Liability of the external consultants

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