Ever have a  project suddenly seem to be careening out of control (think: everyone associated with it running out of a cave followed by a flock (flock?) of bats).

 Usually, the first instinct is a knee-jerk reaction: fix it, fix it now. If you let that feeling take over, you'll end up doing a whole lot of other peoples' work yourself. So what's the alternative?

 1. Take stock. Why does it feel like the project is out of control?

  • Feature creep has reached a level where it's seriously affecting the project. Deadlines are being missed. User stories scheduled in an iteration suddenly slip out at the last minute, beta programs have to slide out because functionality is missing, builds take too long. With agile the deadlines in general have to do with iterations, but if you have folks waiting for a product you might start to miss marketing windows, etc.
  • Information is missing.
  • You don't have the resources to do the job. 
  • The quality of deliveries out of the project is not up to snuff.
  • You're in a bad mood. Seriously.

2.  Create a risk assessment.

3.  Put together a risk mitigation plan or a contingency plan

4.  Decide how to proceed.

5.  Put the plan into action.

 Think of the checklist as a zombie apocalypse survival guide - if it happens you're as prepared as you can be.


Want more details?  See the full blog post in our Program Management Blog!