Accepting Project Failure

Project managers will shudder at the thought of this phrase, but sometimes accepting failure and moving on is the best choice. PMs will hesitate considering their personal reputation, the reputation of the IT team, job security, and sunk costs.

As projects begin to slip past deadlines and go over budget those involved sense the risks that are accumulating. As this continues and executive demands increase it becomes more apparent that the project is in serious trouble. Systems are not seamlessly flowing, technical implementations are not working, and the roles of the project team members are becoming fuzzy. When is it time to pull the plug?

Hind sight is 20/20 as they say and at this point you and your team are probably seeing a much more viable solution than the project that you have currently under taken. It’s time to take out your ROI and risk assessment calculators.  Also it’s a good idea to review any contracts that you may have signed with vendors for this project.

Consider this: How much have you already spent versus how much more will it likely cost to complete this project? Obviously the original time estimates were inaccurate so try to use more realistic estimates based on the pace of the project so far.

Can you get out of your vendor contracts?

How much will an alternate solution cost? Remember REALISTIC estimates here.

Is it possible to get the project back on track?

There are hundreds of books that outline the reasons why IT projects fail. Use some resources to pinpoint what may have happened in this project to determine if you should call it quits or attempt to remedy the situation.

In the end, if the project is a failure you have to accept it, deal with this reality, and learn from your mistakes. It may be a good idea to revamp your project team and find an experienced PM mentor to help plan for round 2. This will be your opportunity for redemption where you will be able to plan and manage the project in a way that increases the chances for success.

Whooo Are You? – Roles to Fit Your BI Team’s Personalities

I love to work with a colorful team full of varying personality types. Each individual adds new perspectives, different skills, and diverse experiences to the team. Your challenge, as the Business Intelligence Project Manager, is to learn as much as you can about each team member, and assign them tasks that will highlight their skills and help them to shine professionally.

Your people person: This individual is well suited for tasks that require great communication skills. They will be great at organizing meetings, working with department heads to gather requirements, and communicating with other team members about the project plan. You can task them with gathering information about what reports are currently being delivered to whom, and determining what information is needed from each report. This is a great opportunity to update report data. This person can compile the information needed and report it to your dashboard builders.

Your detailed oriented team members: These team members will likely be thorough when validating your new data warehouse.  Task them with documenting discrepancies and working with contractors to ensure the accuracy of data. They will also excel when building your BI dashboards with reports that are departmental specific. Have them communicate with your requirements gathers to build dashboards that fit the needs of your department heads.

Your influencer/leader: Most likely there will be at least one person on your team who aspires to be a leader and a manager. Don’t be intimidated by this person, but help them to develop their leadership skills by assigning them tasks that are aligned with their goals and aspirations. They will be able to organize many structural areas of the project while also alleviating some of the burden of managing the entire project alone. Have this person organize the meeting agendas and report the progress of the project to you and the rest of the team.

Knowing your project team can provide many advantages when implementing a business intelligence solution. By utilizing the talents of your team you will be able to lead the project from a higher level rather than micro-managing. Your team as a whole will feel proud because each individual has been given the opportunity to show off their individual talents.