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Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Sixth Edition by Robert K. Wysocki

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Roles and Responsibilities of the PSO with Respect to Distressed Projects

Every project in the project portfolio should have several milestone events at which a project review takes place. The reviews can be powerful tools for early detection and corrective actions. First of all, the Project Support Office (PSO) needs to take project reviews very seriously. The project review may be the first opportunity to spot signs of a project potentially becoming distressed and to take corrective steps. For the astute project manager, this should not be a surprise. He or she would already be aware of the potential distressed condition and have taken the appropriate steps. At this early stage, ask the project manager to discover why the condition exists and put preventive measures in place to prevent a recurrence. The senior project managers on the project review panel will be able to offer a number of possible corrective measures. At the next project review, focus on the effectiveness of the steps taken by the project manager. Has the early warning sign been neutralized? If not, step up the intensity of the corrective measures.

The worst thing would be to do nothing and hope the situation will self-correct. It won't, so why take the risk? This reminds me of team members who practice hope creep. I talked about that in Chapter 1. Recall that hope creep is the situation where a team member falls behind schedule but doesn't report it. Their hope is that they will get caught up by the next status ...

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