Magazine article PM Network

What's the Diagnosis?

Magazine article PM Network

What's the Diagnosis?

Article excerpt

Project health checks offer a quick, simple means to monitor status.

IN AN IDEALWORLD, it would be common to deliver all projects on time and within budget. However, project management statistics tell us a very different story across the globe. In fact, the reality is that many projects still fail- even though they're a significant part of how organizations deliver core services and strategic change. Even if a project does meet its budget and schedule, it still may not deliver the expected benefits or meet stakeholders' everincreasing expectations.

As the saying goes, "Prevention is better than cure." Avoiding some of the bigger problems that projects encounter is increasingly important, as many project managers and their teams are so involved in daily activities that risks and issues go undetected at times.

Project health checks can provide part of the solution, supplying independent and impartial guidance to identify obstacles that may prevent successful project delivery. The primary purpose of a project health check is for a project management office or program manager to increase the level of confidence sponsors and project managers have in the status of the initiative. To ensure consistency and accuracy, health checks should consist of the following phases:

1 Assessment

Set expectations with the sponsor and project manager on what is required from a project review and the intended benefits. See how the project is performing in terms of scope, time, cost and risk. Then review relevant documentation to come up to speed quickly and identify any areas of focus for the review.

The next step is to conduct interviews with key stakeholders to get their perspective on how the project is progressing and whether any areas of improvement exist. To encourage those interviewed to express their true feelings, mention that the report will not identify specific individuals. …

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