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Project First Aid: Bring your projects back from the dead

Louder Than Ten
October 06, 2014

Project First Aid: Bring your projects back from the dead

View full case studies and treatment plan: http://lt10.ca/q0

We’ve all been there—neck deep in a project burning with fever and sliding off the rails. Blown budgets, steaming clients, a timeline doomed from the start. Join PM first responders, "Dr." Carson Pierce and "Dr." Rachel Gertz in the proverbial operating room for some intensive project first aid. We’ll lay the worst examples on the table, assess their vitals, and with your help, develop an emergency care plan to bring our projects back from the dead.

Be prepared to get your hands dirty. This will be a fast-paced, intensive workshop filled with real-world case studies, including past horror stories from our very own DPM speakers. Like a brain zapping game of Operation, you’ll be in for one crazy ride.

You’ll learn:
• How to assess your project’s vitals: the good, the bad, the just plain ugly
• How to create an immediate care plan to stop the bleeding
• How a prevention plan can keep your ongoing projects bright eyed while keeping your new ones out of the O.R.

Louder Than Ten

October 06, 2014

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  1. PM First Aid: Bring Your Projects Back From the Dead

  2. Welcome Resident Doctors Louder Than Ten Project Teaching Hospital Faculty

    of Emergency Project Medicine Vancouver, Canada
  3. Dr. Carson Pierce ! Dr. Rachel Gertz

  4. Mr. Travis Gertz AKA ‘The Patient’

  5. Case study #1

  6. Project description Client: Teaching hospital, Infectious diseases ward [Client X]

    Project brief: Client X approached agency requesting an application for educating public about and highlighting major risk factors, complications, and treatment of MRSA infections (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) with $100K budget set aside. Anticipated launch: April 2015
  7. • Rocky kickoff: client not clear on app goals or

    needs • PM misses ‘private email’ sent by POC • Surprise! Director arrives as new (unhappy) stakeholder Initial onset
  8. Red flag symptoms Unclear goals Unclear expectations Stakeholder conflict

  9. Client is “solutioneering” Unclear goals

  10. Functionality requirements are missing or out of date Unclear goals

  11. Unclear expectations Three new stakeholders show up at design meeting

    with scope changes
  12. Unclear expectations Point of contact communicating outside of designated channels

  13. Stakeholder conflict Client & stakeholders arguing during meeting

  14. Stakeholder conflict • Client & stakeholders disagree on project direction

    • Design halted

  16. Treatment summary A. Revive project plan B. Clarify expectations C.

    Get it in writing
  17. Prevention

  18. Prevention • Practice tough conversations • Mystery voices • Pause

  19. Case study #2

  20. Project description Client: Retail baked goods company [Client Y] Project

    brief: Client Y negotiated contract with agency salesperson to convert their retail baked goods ecommerce site to new content management system. Some minor design updates may also be required. Approach appeared to be a relatively straightforward project, so fixed price of $40,000 and three month timeline set. Anticipated launch: January 2015
  21. • Fixed budget set by salesperson • Assertive project manager

    brought on to ‘control’ team • Internal conflict escalated unchecked Initial onset
  22. Red flag symptoms Unhealthy team Underweight budget & schedule Unstable

  23. Unhealthy team • Teams of ‘one’ • Lack of trust

    • Aggressive PM
  24. Underweight budget & schedule • Budget & timeline too tight

    • Cutting corners vs missing deadlines
  25. Unstable resourcing • Some teammates working hard, some hardly working

    • Schedule overlap will put future projects at risk

  27. Treatment summary A. Build trust with team B. Clarify goals

    & expectations C. Introduce strong leaders
  28. Prevention

  29. Prevention • Choose right people for team • Chunk estimating:

    e.g. rolling wave • Use Project Evaluation Review Technique
  30. Case study #3

  31. Project description Client: Luxury tile company [Client Z] Project brief:

    Client Z approached agency requesting new branding, logo, and full website redesign for high end tile distribution company. Have $85K budget set aside for all work. Customers include high profile celebrities like Kanye, Joe Pesci, and Carrot Top. Anticipated launch: November 2014
  32. • Your boss is ‘friends’ with Tile Distributor aka your

    new client, aka no formal agreement • Wife ‘writes’ content, ‘designs’ logo • Wife leaves client • Joe Pesci sues client • Client threatens you via voicemail Initial onset
  33. Red flag symptoms Inadequate documentation Poor content performance Abusive client

    Stopped payments
  34. Prognosis DOA

  35. Treatment

  36. Prevention

  37. Prevention • Avoid conflicts of interest • Content & design

    together • Don’t put up with sh*t • Create healthy client mix
  38. Rx summary • Clients only drive when they think you

    can’t • We teach people how to treat us • We make this industry better
  39. Your projects are waiting… Review complete case symptoms and prognosis

    at: http://lt10.ca/q0 !
  40. Come to the DPM Summit next year!

  41. Thanks louderthanten.com @louderthanten