Project Initiation Monthly Initiation Weekly Management Daily Management Monthly Closure Project Closure Post-Project Management Appoint the sponsor A01 Appoint the project manager A02 Appoint the key team members A03 Describe the project A04 Identify and plan the deliverables A05 Identify risks and plan responses A06 Have project initiation peer-reviewed A07 Make a go/no-go decision A08 Kick off the project A09 Conduct a focused communication A10 Revise and refine the plans B01 Have the monthly cycle peer-reviewed B02 Make a go/no-go decision B03 Kick off the monthly cycle B04 Conduct a focused communication B05 Measure and report performance C01 Plan responses for deviations C02 Kick off the weekly cycle C03 Conduct a focused communication C04 Manage risks, issues, and change requests D01 Accept completed deliverables D02 Evaluate stakeholder satisfaction E01 Capture lessons and plan for improvements E02 Conduct a focused communication E03 Hand over the product F01 Evaluate stakeholder satisfaction F02 Have the closing activity group peer-reviewed F03 Archive the project documents F04 Celebrate! F05 Conduct a focused communication F06 Evaluate the benefits G01 Generate new ideas G02 Conduct a focused communication G03

C02 - Plan responses for deviations

This management activity belongs to the Weekly Management group, which is a group of activities done at the beginning of each week.

If you have any deviations from your targets based on the performance measurements in C01, you should manage them and try to get back on track.

In complicated cases, you can have a workshop and get help from all or a select group of team members in planning how to recover from the deviation. In critical or sensitive cases, inform the sponsor, ask for their advice, and seek their approval for the recovery plan.

If it’s not possible to recover from the deviations, you should seek approval from the sponsor to set revised targets and goals, and have these approved. Make sure that the new information is recorded in the Project Description.

If there’s an underlying reason for the deviation that may cause similar issues in the future, record it in the Follow-Up Register as a risk, and plan a proper risk response for it.

Project Description template

Follow-Up Register template

Purpose

To achieve the goals of the project, we need to recover from deviations as soon as possible, before they pile up. Even more importantly, if we try to recover from the deviations and don’t succeed, and see an alarming trend in the project, we will know that the project goals cannot be met with the existing targets, and we have to revise those targets. When revised, they may no longer be justifiable, in which case the project may be canceled and to avoid bigger losses in the future.

Common pitfalls

Remember that a general, vague, wishful statement such as “We have to work 15% faster from now on” is not a recovery plan. Recovery plans must be realistic and include actionable things that can be implemented and evaluated.

If you must choose between recovering from a deviation and solving the root cause of the deviation, which may cause the same issue in the future, give priority to the latter. Otherwise, you will be continuously firefighting.

Principles

The following principles play a significant role in this management activity:



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