Tuesday 14 December 2021

How to control spills over range of the projects

Whether abroad or at home, projects out of control or failure is very common, especially in the IT industry, the project out of control is a considerable proportion, as a project manager how to face, how to end, how to avoid out-of-control projects?

I was once invited to analyze the case of a project and put it together here to share with you.

case body:

A company signed a provincial archives bureau project, mainly for the user to develop a set of file management system and portal, the company in order to get the project, made a lot of price concessions, and the company did not determine the scope of the project, nor estimated the cost of the project, signed a contract with the user. after the project start, because the scope of the project is not determined, resulting in the project demand is always changing, the project cycle repeatedly postponed, users are not satisfied, the company project team is also very tired, the cost is difficult to control!

How to manage a project like this?

case study:

Such cases are very common in the it industry, especially some small and medium-sized enterprises are facing huge market competition pressure, in order to be able to obtain some project orders, had to sign up prices. if the enterprise lacks the corresponding effective management control means in the project management, it is bound to contain many project risks for the implementation of the project. i would like to analyze this case on three levels:

How to avoid out-of-control projects:

The key to the situation described in the above case is that the enterprise has less necessary feasibility analysis research and evaluation control link before the project contract is signed, the marketing staff may be under pressure to take the order under the pressure of performance, did not communicate with the pre-sales engineer or the project implementation team, from the project scope, cost, progress, effective resources of the enterprise to carry out a serious assessment and risk analysis. of course, enterprises in order to strategic development needs, at all costs to sign such a contract is another matter. to avoid the recurrence of such projects, it is recommended that enterprises make appropriate adjustments and strengthening in the following areas:

When submitting a bid or project intention, the sales staff shall carefully analyze the description of the technical requirements in the tender specification or conduct the necessary research on the user's needs, evaluate the scope of the project, and, if necessary, apply for cooperation from the company's pre-sales engineers or other technical personnel;

Establish and improve the enterprise contract evaluation process, require the company's experienced technical personnel and functional management personnel to participate in the contract review, to ensure that from the technical and implementation costs of a rigorous assessment;

In the department, project and staff performance appraisal should not only consider the completed turnover, to consider the relevant project implementation cost factors, in order to strengthen everyone's cost awareness.

How to deal with project risks after such contracts have been signed:

If the project manager has unfortunately been authorized to undertake such tasks, which are unclear in scope and lack cost assessment, it is recommended that the project manager's alliance be

(1) don't immediately bow your head and get busy with the organization, but work closely with the salesperson (account manager) responsible for customer relationships, immediately organize communication with customers, conduct demand research and scope analysis, and assess project costs and risks. submit relevant analytical reports to key project stakeholders, especially those in the organization where they are making decisions, as many risks are not addressed by the project manager's own capabilities and authority.

(2) when the customer is not yet able to clearly describe the project requirements (such a phenomenon is common in e-government projects), the project manager should organize the strength to strengthen communication with the customer during the project design and implementation process, gradually enlighten and guide the customer's positioning of the scope of the project, as far as possible to choose the prototype method, phase delivery or progressive delivery (iteration method) and other project lifecycle model for project implementation, to avoid the project implementation risk. and cooperate with the account manager as early as possible to let the customer sign the clear project demand statement;

(3) persuade the customer to agree on the scope change control audit process. for each time the customer proposed the adjustment and change of demand, especially the larger changes do not rush to agree, but first text it to the customer to confirm (if the customer can submit a written request is best), analysis of this change, including: the change brought about by the technical and functional impact, cost and schedule impact, the impact on the system resource requirements. submit the analysis report to the important decision-makers related to the project by both parties for evaluation and confirmation, and only after approval will the implementation be organized. many customers see these well-founded analyses and then voluntarily abandon or narrow down changes. for each change and adjustment to do a good job of demand tracking records, which is also after the event with the customer to analyze the project progress delay and cost increase an important basis, but also to obtain the appropriate additional project investment.

How to remedy this out-of-control project:

As for the project is already in the current passive situation? i recommend that you pause the project if possible and:

(1) first of all, talk to the customer to further clarify the project's objectives and detailed needs;

(2) the project manager organizes the function and performance that has been achieved, determines the deviation from the customer's goal, evaluates how much time and cost is needed to do so, carefully analyzes the pros and cons of different solutions, studies the next implementation strategy, and obtains further authorization (audit and approval) from the head of the enterprise;

(3) as soon as possible, organize the a and b parties to sit down for the project review meeting, carefully and objectively analyze the situation since the start of the project, so that the two sides can understand each other and continue the follow-up work under the condition of consensus.

How can the project manager pull the strings when the project's out-of-control range spills over?

For the project's prospect analysis, the following possibilities are estimated:

Prioritize functional performance that has not yet been implemented, and the customer agrees to achieve a phased outcome with less investment and close the project as soon as possible. this is the outcome of relatively few losses on both sides;

The client agrees to make additional partial investment in the project for changes and expansion of demand, or to compensate for the commitment of one of the following projects, which may be the most desirable outcome for the enterprise

Since the two sides have signed a commercial contract, so the enterprise had to go on without compensation, hard scalp to meet the full requirements of customers, this outcome is the most painful for the enterprise. of course, the implementation of the subsequent project must be carried out under strict project management, so that the loss is controlled.

Some people ask: is it possible to have a high-level project manager, all projects can be managed? first of all, we should recognize what "managed" means. if that means a successful project, i personally don't think so. because the success of the project involves many factors, and project management is not 1000. 


As a project manager, making full use of scientific project management means can greatly improve the probability of project success and reduce the risk of project. however, if the project itself has a large congenital deficiency problem, such a case, the project is only managed during the development implementation period after the start-up, it is difficult to ensure that all problems are resolved. therefore, we should pay attention to the screening and evaluation when the project starts. strictly speaking, this link should also fall within the scope of project management.

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