Thomas Day

Paper and Presentation: The Recovery of Failed Government Projects

Abstract: In every environment, projects are bound to fail. The bigger the project, the greater the risk of failure. Most PM classes teach how to run Projects. However, few, if any, teach the art and science of failed project recovery. This is the the most ignored area in Government as the failed project is either cancelled or otherwise combined with another until it succeeds. In reality, with some resources and out-of-the-box thinking, necessary failed projects can be resuscitated into viable and thriving providers of those government services necessary to meet stakeholder demands. First presented are the differences between failed private industry and Federal Government programs. Second, the basic remedial actions to bring Federal Projects back are presented in a manner that can be transmitted immediately back to the agency for use. The differences between private industry and Government are presented for the edification of the conference. It is important to realize that there are many reasons why a project fails, and understanding why is the highest of priority to bring about the reconstitution of the endeavor. One of the areas explored are those projects that were destined to fail before they started and should not have been approved. The reasons why are presented as a lesson learned and caution to the prospective PM when being assigned or otherwise requesting an endeavor to manage. Some of the the remediation efforts to turn around Federal Projects are quite simple and require little effort. They are offered in this paper as a guide to help rescue troubled or failed projects, and a lessons learned guide to prevent their failure.

PMI Talent Triangle: Leadership (Power Skills)

Biography: Thomas J. Day, Ph.D. is an international lecturer in the field of Engineering Management with over 65 papers published in the Systems Engineering, Engineering Management, and Technology Management arena. He is the in-house instructor at the US Department of Commerce developing and giving PM Certification Classes to new and prospective program and project managers. He then assists in them obtaining their FAC-P/PM certifications to run Government Programs and Projects. His specialty is the turnaround of troubled and failed programs and projects. His Ph.D is in Engineering Management, ME in Computer and Software Engineering, BS in Electrical Engineering, and holds undergraduate degrees in Marketing and Management. He also holds a FAC-P/PM Level III with IT Specialty Certifications in the Federal Government.