Despite your best plans, what happens when things still go awry?

By Alison Smith

Here in the UK over that last week or so we have suffered the usual issues with snow falling, and an inability to manage the issues that this throws up. There were plenty of advanced warnings that heavy snow was forecast; local authorities stated that they were prepared to manage the conditions. But yet again the areas affected slowed to a standstill, with motorists trapped in their cars, and many without power for a number of days.

This is just an example of planning for a perceived risk, but being overtaken by a larger than anticipated impact occurring. This can happen in projects too, but how do you deal with a larger than expected issue that can (temporarily) stop your project dead in its tracks?

Possible actions that you can take:

  • Review the risk register – did you evaluate the risk correctly? Did you manage it effectively? Did you have all the facts to make the right decisions when managing this risk?
  • Evaluate what resources you will need to overcome the issue? Do you have the skills in house to overcome the issues, or do you require outside assistance?
  • Ensure that this been flagged up to the project manager and project sponsor?
  • Identify whether the risk will delay the delivery time for the project? What will be the consequences if you don’t deliver on time?
  • Check whether the risk cause you to go over budget? Is this a separate issue in itself if you are over budget?
  • Carry out a “lessons learned” review to ensure that similar issues do not cause problems in future projects that will be stored in an easily accessible way, and not just put into a dusty file that sits on the shelf / in a drawer?

These are just a few of the actions that you might consider taking when despite you best efforts your projects are temporarily stopped in their tracks.

What actions worked?

I would like to hear the alternative actions you would take to overcome the high impact risk?

Picture courtesy of Daily Mirror newspaper

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One Response to Despite your best plans, what happens when things still go awry?

  1. Pingback: Despite your best plans, what happens when things still go awry? | #PMChat

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