Review: Rescue the Problem Project—Todd C Williams

Jim Mavronicholas
November 15, 2011

Whether you are a seasoned project manager or at the beginning of your career, this book is for you if your project is in the ‘red’.

With 25 years of project recovery experience, Todd C Williams has successfully broken down the project rescue process into four well defined stages that, if followed prescriptively, will turn any failing project around and offer several solutions to the project manager.

Each section includes a number of real world examples as well as ‘chapter takeaways’, which summarise learnings that form a quick reference for future revision.

There is no question that this is a ‘how-to’ manual in which the reader is guided to ask clinical questions and gather information relevant to the rescue process. The explanations are extremely effective and I found I enjoyed asking and reviewing them in the context of my own work.

I was particularly happy with my journey through Part VI of the book, which gave me the opportunity to revise what the author called “doing it right the first time”. This section gives the reader the opportunity to see how a project can be initiated correctly avoiding the pitfalls that cause ‘red’ projects.

In addition, the section covered important aspects of project definition, team creation, risk management and change management, all of which can be used to evaluate an organisation’s project policy.

Williams’ philosophy centres around the fundamental concept that project recovery is all about change. What to change is essentially the most important question the reader must ask, and the author answers it perfectly.

I strongly recommend this book, and should be a must-have on the bookshelf of any project office.

Rescue the Problem Project
By Todd C Williams
RRP $42.95 (hardcover)
Published by McGraw-Hill (purchase online)

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Jim Mavronicholas
Jim Mavronicholas is a senior project manager with more than 20 years' experience in the consulting, construction and engineering industries. He has been involved in the management and delivery of significant projects within Australia and currently works with the Brisbane City Council on the Brisbane City Hall Restoration Project.
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