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Tips for Taking Over a Project

You’ve just been parachuted into a project. What are the three key things you should do immediately to move the project forward? We asked three of our experts.

Adrian Hicks, Chief Examiner, MSP

  • Read the business case.
  • Read all the highlight reports.
  • read all the board minutes.

Andy Taylor, Assessor, MSP and PRINCE2

  • Look at the milestones to date and see how they have been adjusted.
  • Look at the business case to see if it has been maintained.
  • Call a project team meeting to talk to those actually doing the work.

Alan Harpham, Chairman, APMG (Alan believes three isn’t enough, he’s given us a list of five things to do.)

  • Request an independent review of its current status.
  • Read the original objective(s), defined outputs and hoped-for outcomes with agreed changes.
  • Make some findings of your own based on these two documents.
  • Meet the project team and discuss your findings.
  • Continue with them as they are (project appears on track), coach them to improve or make strategic changes to the team (project can still achieve but needs to improve) or inform the sponsor that his/her project is in serious trouble and will not achieve its original requirements with recommendations on what to do next to save it or can it.

What do you think are the most important things to do when taking over a project?

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