Most sources on the Internet focus on closing project or establishing a project repair project. But what could Project Manager do if his choices are limited by very bad written agreement (and I mean extremely bad)? Here are some thoughts.
Let’s assume that project’s agreement is the worst possible for your company: agreement is written in a manner that client can wish virtually anything that the other party has to do. For example there can be sentences like: “client can have as many layout changes as he wishes”. If agreement has more such sentences like this it leads to a situation where PM loses his control over a project. Why’s that? Imagine that client does not hurry and sends you Change Requests so often that you exceed your project’s time, budget and “scope”. If you try to object client shows you an agreement where is written that he has the right to do that. It looks like the client is in control of your team and you have nothing to say. What could be done? There are two opposite ways of dealing with such situation: project continuation or project cancellation.
Things are bad and you need to seek help. You need to contact with sponsors and steering committee. They have to react. I suggest they should try to renegotiate agreement. Options are:
- Make project in time&materials way so that does not look like a project but looks more like a process
- Make project agile - if you do not have time and resources to write thorough specification you can try agile project management (if it fits to projects assumptions). You can try to persuade client to pay monthly or in other period so that your company can have some money from the project.
- Renegotiate whole agreement, write new and complete specification etc. This requires that client agrees to renegotiate the deal with you. You should take a good lawyer and analyze the agreement to find any way out from this situation. If you are successful in renegotiation you now may run any desired rescue plan. There are plenty of resources on that on the net.
If you are not in a position to renegotiate you should sit down and make some simulations how much money you already have lost on a project, you may lost while continuing project or lost after canceling project. This may help your sponsor in a decision what to do.
If you like to do project the way you did before (not changing anything) it is most likely that you achieve the same results as you did previously. Seriously, doing something again and expecting different results is a kind of a schizofrenic behavior ;)
If you decide to cancel the project you basically three options: either you do it, either you force your client to do it (or he decides by himself to do it), either you both agree that you should kill the project. There are also multiple resources on the net on how to do that.
Note that such projects and such agreements could exist but they are not very often seen. Also please note that these suggestions are only my opinions which could not be right.comments powered by Disqus