I think that every project manager has had to take over a project that is out of control. What should you do to get this project back on track?
The first thing that should be done is to access where the project currently is. You should review all tasks and activities to determine exactly where the project stands in relation to the actual schedule and budget. You should ignore any current status reports and talk directly to all of the important stakeholders to establish a new baseline.
Once this new baseline has been established then go ahead and treat this as a new project. This means that the risk register needs to be filled out, new LOE’s need to be obtained from development stakeholders, and a new project plan needs to be created.
Then it is important to reach out to all the development stakeholders and inform them of the true status of the project and what obstacles are in the way to the successful completion of the project. Additionally it is important for the project manager to reengage the project team and remind them of the business need(s) for this project. It is important to remind everyone involved on the project exactly why the project was undertaken to begin with.
The last step to undertake is to determine if the obstacles that threw the project off kilter in the first place still exists. All of the (re)planning and best of intentions will not be enough to bring a project back online if the original issue(s) that threw the project out of whack still exist. Address these issue(s) and be ready to document these in your lessons learned.