Project Rescue

What is a troubled or failing project?

According to PMBOK a successful project is one that meets its core objectives in terms of time, cost, quality and scope.  However, a troubled or failing project is one that has overruns in any or more of these aspects and/or does not meet the specific benefits for which it was undertaken in the first place.

When a project is operating in one or more of these states it creates tension within the organization starting with the project manager down through the project team, and most importantly the project sponsor.  Each of these individuals begin to experience a loss of confidence and unfortunately the project only becomes more unraveled.

In order to gain control and ensure your project is a success you must first assess where and why the project is failing.  Understanding the systemic issues and where they originated is critical to turning your project around.

Think System’s Unique Project Rescue Approach

Think applies the Bare Knuckled approach and principles to quickly gain control, implement a plan of action and restore confidence.  So, how do we do it?

  • Rapid Control Process – Think injects our Rapid Control Process to quickly achieve a state of control.
    • Discovery and Immersion – The consumption of all historical project knowledge and artifacts, including meetings with key individuals.
    • Planning – Multi-pass planning starting with a “straw man plan” development, a reflection of plan with key individuals, resource development and timeline/outcome balancing.
    • Validation and Risk Mitigation – The draft plan is subjected to the stress of validation and risk mitigation to determine fragility. This involves tough discussions of how risks will be confronted as they emerge in the project.
    • Kick Off or Reset – Think presents the final plan and documentation to the stakeholder team. Ownership of steps is cemented and ground rules for engagement are discussed and accepted by team members.
    • Active Management & Control – Once the kickoff/reset is complete, the Tactical PM will actively control the project by socializing with the appropriate personnel, managing the tempo, conducting weekly review meetings, and by providing reporting and tracking updates. Risks encountered are confronted aggressively.


  • Each of the steps above has distinct deliverables and are led by a Strategic Project Manager, while the Tactical Project Manager executes the plan.


  • An Honest Broker – Our job is to take an objective approach to the project to provide transparency on why things aren’t working and to present the facts.


We can “be there tomorrow”

If you need help and need it fast, we are ready to jump in and help!  We engage and move very fast while allowing you to have ‘throttle control’ throughout the process.  We can execute all or parts of the Rapid Control Process using our resources or utilizing existing resources on your team.  We provide flexibility knowing that no two organizations or projects operate the same.

However you would like us to help, we are at your beck and call.  We can be there tomorrow!

To learn more about each step of the Rapid Control Process, download a copy of the BKPM Pocket Guide. The Rapid Control Process can be found on page 19.


“Rescuing Troubled Projects – PMI” – Link

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