When you're neck-deep in the preliminary stages of any big project, it's important to stay focused on what needs to happen to give it the best possible chance of success... or even a graceful failure, should events take an unexpected turn.
ZDNet Asia recently talked to a Ovum analyst Roy Illsley and manager Pranabesh Nath from Frost & Sullivan, to get their advice on managing and planning large IT projects. When I say "large", I mean $10 million or above.
If you happen to deal with these kinds of projects — excellent. However, not all of us juggle such monumental tasks. Fortunately, the tips mentioned in the article are very applicable to more mundane, non-IT endeavours. Having worked in professional software (specifically games) development for the better part of three years, I found a couple of the suggestions very relevant.
For example, point #2 suggests having an "exit plan", a step that you could certainly accommodate in your projects going forward:
... many companies have contingency plans to deal with changes in technology, vendor or the market, but very few have an actual "complete alternative solution ready to go". While this type of "plan B" can be very costly, it provides good resiliency, so that should the project slow or hit trouble, there is already a "second option available to hit the ground running".
It might sound like common sense to have a backup plan, but is it something you regularly put into practise?