In my previous blog I talked about the importance of defining scope, confirming time scales and cost analysis as the key principles of Project Recovery Management. In this blog I will focus on the importance of people in Project Recovery Management.

The next element is not a defined project management tool, it’s not an analytical based approach to delivery or a module in the Prince2 handbook. It’s the ability to understand people and get the project team in a position where delivery is the only option. Not every Project Recovery Manager will be the same or take the same approach and that’s a good thing. Every recovery will be different and in every project team a different dynamic. My personal approach is to listen, take time to understand the situation, build a relationship of trust with those I’m working with and for. Once that relationship is in place, defining scope, confirming time scales and cost analysis become much easier to undertake. Matrix management of teams and individuals is a key part of Project Recovery Management. You may not always been in a hierarchal management position but having the ability to challenge at all levels of management is important.

Challenge will also come from many areas and should be welcomed. The role of the Project Recovery Manager is to take on those challenges and look to deliver in a creative way. In situations like this creativity can come in many forms. The opportunity to streamline a process or actively engage senior stakeholders are good examples of creative thinking that seems simplistic. However simple approaches can often be forgotten in situations where time is pressing.

The approach I have taken has served me well. The teams I have worked with appreciate the efforts I have gone to in engaging them and getting focus back in the right places. However, there is often the need for the Project Recovery Management to take a different approach, one that sets a very clear objective at a very early stage and may need a more autocratic approach to delivery. In essence the role of Project Recovery Manager puts me in a position of being able to get things done and to quote Al Capone ‘you can get further with a kind word and a gun than just a kind word’. Use Project Recovery Management as that gun.

So is Project Recovery Management a fix all for failing projects? Having run two very successful recoveries my own experience would be that Project Recovery Management is one of the most effective tools available to any company running large implementations over long time frames. The right Project Recovery Manager at the right time will be invaluable.

If you have any questions around Project Recovery Management, I would be happy to discuss them with you.