Project Management Institute

Managing unexpected urgent projects

During the course of an organization's existence, there will be times when unplanned and urgent action is needed, action that realizes an unexpected business opportunity or protects against a sudden threat or restores a severely damaged asset. This paper examines six different urgent projects, identifying the critical decisions that executives made in response to these crises and the lessons they learned from these experiences. In doing so, it describes the six projects and the reasons why these projects were deemed unexpected and urgent; it overviews the project management team structure and implementation approach used for the studied projects. It then discusses the cases in relation to six dimensions of managing unexpected and urgent projects, dimensions that include project authorization, resourcing, project organization, relationships and communication, project management, and stage gates. It details the common lessons that the six project teams learned while implementing their projects.
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