The case of the troubled project

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to know when your project is in peril, but knowing why is a different matter. Like a crime scene, troubled projects are flush with clues. To catch the culprit, a project manager must think like a detective. This article identifies five telltale signs of trouble brewing within a project. In doing so, it explains how the project plan is the first place a project manager should look for clues to the cause of trouble. It then summarizes how a stakeholder analysis helps project managers distinguish between those who prefer to get down to business and those who need more time. In addition, the article examines deviations from the project timeline and budget. Next, it explains how to track a project's status by looking for objective measures, such as cost and schedule performance indices. The article concludes by discussing how to resolve problems caused by unhappy team members. Accompanying the article is a sidebar listing tips to help project managers put troubled projects on the ro
registered user content locked

Log in or join PMI to gain access

or Register



Related Content

  • Project Management Journal

    The Impact of Executive Coaching on Project Managers' Personal Competencies member content locked

    By Ballesteros-Sánchez, Luis | Ortiz-Marcos, Isabel | Rodríguez-Rivero, Rocío Personal competencies have been shown to be increasingly reliable predictors of successful project managers. This research studies whether executive coaching is effective in strengthening personal…

  • PM Network

    The Right Fit member content locked

    By Scott, Lindsay Project management recruitment professional, Lindsey Scott answers questions about job searching, working on more innovative and digitally driven projects, and earning professional development units…

  • PM Network

    A Foot in the Door registered user content locked

    By Scott, Lindsay Project management recruitment professional Lindsay Scott, answers questions about making the most of informal meetings and looking for new career opportunities beyond the usual sectors.

  • PM Network

    Bridging Ambition and Ability registered user content locked

    By Parsi, Novid Agile is everywhere, but not every organization is ready for it. According to the 12th annual State of Agile survey published by CollabNet VersionOne, 41 percent of organizations cite a lack of…

  • PM Network

    On Your Own registered user content locked

    By Thomas, Jen For project professionals, a boss can be the biggest advocate—or biggest obstacle—on the career path. A helpful manager will mentor and champion project wins, promote face time with high-level…


Publishing or acceptance of an advertisement is neither a guarantee nor endorsement of the advertiser's product or service. View advertising policy.