Part 2: How to Recover Troubled Programs

Part 2: How to Recover Troubled Programs

October 13, 2022 Off By Nick

Are you experiencing the same problems as those in troubled programs? To get your program back on track, you will need a recovery plan.
Here’s the 5 step ESI process to get out of trouble. I attended a webinar hosted and these are my notes.
The whole approach assumes that you have been sent to fix a flailing program.
Phase of Assessment
Step 1: Define Charter
Duration: 1-2 Days
This charter formally authorizes the existence of an assessment or recovery effort. It also gives the assessment and recovery lead the authority to complete the activities required to create an assessment plan.
The charter should include:
Program history and sensitivities (although this is something I would not write down).
Assessment approach: How many people will you interview in individual meetings, group sessions, etc.
A plan of action with dates

Next, get it all in writing – that is why the charter exists. This step will also allow you to contact the program and project team.
Step 2: Create an assessment plan
This step is about achieving the charter’s objectives. It allows the assessment team speed up their assessment, ensures accurate findings and minimizes distractions to the project team. You want to keep moving forward with things that are going well.
Create a team
Analyse and review the assessment model. How will we review documents and how can we proceed with analysis?
Examine important documents
Plan your assessment

This is a formal step so make sure you sign off on the plan.
Step 3: Create an assessment plan
Time: 2-5 Days
This step determines the current status of the program as well as its constituent projects. You identify the major threats, opportunities, and problems. You start to think about the recovery and who would be on your recovery group.
Establish a war room
Assemble your team
Implement the assessment plan (interviews, document review)
From the most problematic to the least problematic, rank-order and aggregate the findings
Validate, update, and finalize findings with program sponsor and team

Phase of Recovery
Step 4: Create a recovery plan
This step will lead to a plan for implementing a program. This step creates a plan and a process to reach your goals. You also build confidence and morale.
It is important to create a plan that everyone can see as realistic and realizable. This helps build confidence. There is no Plan B for this plan of recovery. This is it! The goal is to save the program and make it useful again, while avoiding total failure.
Make a schedule that is achievable
Re-establish customer management confidence
Negotiate a new baseline

Step 5: Create a recovery plan
This step is where you implement your recovery plan to bring the program back to life. This step validates the accuracy of your estimation methods. This allows you to forecast the completion of your program. Start with the end in your mind: A program that is not in recovery.