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Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure Hardcover – March 20, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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  • Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If you are a project leader determined to succeed…read an excellent book: Rescue the Problem Project. --Manager’s Minute



"If your project is troubled and constantly reporting a status of Red or Amber, then get your hands on a copy now.” --A Girl’s Guide to Project Management



“Reading his book is like being paired with the best mentor around and I read it like I do good fiction; totally absorbed.” --Change for Action



"Whether you are a seasoned project manager or at the beginning of your career, this book is for you if your project is in the red." --Project Manager.com



"Project team members and managers responsible for overseeing any kind of project, whether formally designated or not, will benefit from reading this book and keeping it as a reference." - Quality Progress



"Todd depicts a common sense approach in the book. It is a great reference to help rescue your distressed project or get it out trouble.” --PM World Journal



"... lays out an insightful process, based on real world examples, to identify, prevent and recover from project failure." --PM World Journal



“When you’re in crisis mode, reach for this book to assess the core problems and create an action plan.” --Wrike blog

Book Description

When budgets are dwindling, deadlines passing, and tempers flaring, the usual response is to browbeat the project team and point fingers of blame. Not helpful. For these situations, what is needed is an objective process for accurately assessing what is wrong and a clear plan of action for fixing the problem.

Rescue the Problem Project provides project managers, executives, and customers with the answers they require. Turnaround specialist Todd Williams has worked with dozens of companies in multiple industries resuscitating failing projects. In this new book, he reveals an in-depth, start-to-finish process that includes:

• Techniques for identifying the root causes of the trouble

• Steps for putting projects back on track—audit the project, analyze the data, negotiate the solution, and execute the new plan

• Nearly 70 real-world examples of what works, what doesn’t, and why

• Guidelines for avoiding problems in subsequent projects

Many books explain how to run a project, but only this one shows how to bring it back from the brink of disaster. And with 65% of projects failing to meet goals and 25% cancelled outright, that’s essential information!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (March 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814416829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814416822
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Thomas Juli on March 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Projects become more prevalent. Not surprisingly the art of project management becomes more popular. Unfortunately this does not imply that the more projects there are the more successful they are. As a matter of fact a significant percentage of projects fail or do not yield the desired results. While in recent years the number of successful projects are on the rise, it is scary how slow this process has been. Todd Williams' book "Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing, and Recovering from Project Failure" is a welcome and much needed aid to help rescue and re-align struggling and failing projects. It is a very valuable resource for anyone working in a project management. Regardless whether or not the own project is on its way to glory or doom.
Williams embraces a holistic approach to project management. He explains the need and value of existing project management tools that help rescue the project management. And he goes beyond the mere listing of tools. In the Introduction of the book he stresses four key factors that are critical in rescuing a problematic project: (1) The answers to a problem in or with a project are in the team. (2) A strong team can surmount most problems. (3) Stay involved with the team. (4) Objective data is your friend, providing the key way out of any situation. By emphasizing the value of the team Williams goes beyond a mechanical "Abhandlung" of a recipe book for project rescues. He explains in simple, plain and thus easy to understand language why most answers to problems in and with a project are rooted in the team. A project is not made up of resources but human beings interacting in a social environment, building communities and network.
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Format: Hardcover
This book offers sound advice and guidance in dealing with red projects or those heading in that direction.
Todd offers insightful and sometimes amusing explanations in his case studies. I particularly liked Case Study #3-1 The Stockholm Syndrome. But my favorite was Case Study #8-5 Name the One Thing the Customer Would Love. It never hurts to make me smile while reading something that could, in someone elses hand, be considered dry.
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Format: Hardcover
It is almost certain that an experienced Project Manager has, at one time or another, run up against a project that is over-budget, running late, or otherwise out of control...a project that is "in the red." Rescue the Problem Project by Todd Williams presents methods for recovering red projects, reminds us that recovery is itself a project and provides insights into keeping projects out of the red in the first place.

The book presents suggestions and prescriptions based on the author's 25 year experience as a "Senior Audit and Recovery Specialist" and each chapter is peppered with very readable, brief case studies highlighting examples of his applying the techniques he describes. While there are a few examples that come off as a bit self-aggrandizing all are immensely helpful in understanding how and why the techniques work which provides a degree of credibility lacking in many business books.

A seasoned Project Manager will recognize their own experience as the author notes that poor scope definition, lack of executive leadership, and ineffective change management are barriers to project recovery (and most likely contributed to problems in the first place). And no PM should be surprised at the need to perform an audit and engage with stakeholders to collect data and understand the current and desired states. However the author follows his own prescriptions providing specificity in his examples of how each of these is often done wrong and how to do them right.

It may be unsettling to some PM's to read the suggestion that a specialized, external "Recovery Manager" rather than the Project Manager him or herself is the best person to perform the audit and analysis.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are some inconsistencies and a few things that I disagree with. For example, he claims that the project health status is subjective. I have seen some Standards that promote a Objective determination.I found that there is really nothing in this book that a good well-defined standard won't address.For people wiothout a strong background in PM this book might help.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Rescue the Problem Project" is an excellent book, thorough and usable for your company. What I liked most of the book was the practical applications, his methodology and key elements of his solutions, planning, people, good data and the customer. The numerous case examples provide insight and make it easy to relate to your own company's problems and adding a personal touch to Todd's solutions for your project.

Todd pays excellent attention to how people at all levels of management impact the success or failure of a project. At the same time, Todd forces to rely on facts, not opinions of what may be going wrong with a project. Todd offers a sound methodology of recovering the project and the elements of what should be included in any project management plan.

He addresses all aspects of auditing the project for a proper assessment and analysis to make sure the project or parts of the project are even worth fixing. Rather than move right to execution, I appreciated the negotiation section to ensure that before going forward all interested parties are focused on the right result.

Although this is a "rescue" methodology, knowing how to fix the project will ensure you head off the problem before it even starts. Finally, the methodology pays homage to the customer whose happiness determines our business success.
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