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How to manage a project crisis?

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I know how to manage project risk, but I have no idea what to do when the risk becomes a crisis. Does anyone know how to manage a crisis? In any case, my definition of a crisis is a catastrophic risk, such as a risk that will most likely kill the project if it materializes, is this the right definition of a project crisis? Or does it mean something else?
asked 5 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

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I am sorry to tell you that your definition of crisis is wrong, a crisis is not a catastrophe. Also, a project crisis is not a risk, it is a situation that may lead to project failure.

Now that I've clarified the terminology, a project crisis can be managed the following way:

- Acknowledge that there is a crisis and there's no way you will be able to meet the original constraints (budget, scope, schedule).

- Review the original project plan and determine how bad the situation is.

- Inform your stakeholders about the crisis (for example, the project is way over budget, project behind schedule, quality is very poor, project is missing a lot of basic functionality).

- Try to negotiate a higher budget, a reduced scope, a longer schedule and then re-baseline  (check this question: http://www.projectmanagementquestions.com/2219/project-re-baseline )

- Understand where the real problem that lead to this crisis lies: Was it a series of uncontrolled changes? Was it an unrealistic project budget/schedule/scope? Was it a non-motivated or a non-productive or a non-experienced project team?

- Address the root problem once you locate it.

Note that if you don't do the last step then you will risk running into the same situation (project crisis) again...
answered 5 years ago by MaplePM (46,940 points)

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