Schedule A Call

Please assist us in ensuring your request reaches the correct person by providing a brief summary of your requirement.
* Required

Schedule A Call

Please assist us in ensuring your request reaches the correct person by providing a brief summary of your requirement.
* Required

Righting the Ship: A Case Study on Rescuing a Software Project from Failure


As the VP of Software Engineering at FilAm Software, I'm often tasked with overseeing many projects - some of which, despite best efforts, encounter turbulent waters. In this post, I'll take you through a case study where we turned the tide on a failing project, showcasing the practical application of project rescue strategies.

The Project: What Went Wrong?

The project in question was an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for a manufacturing company. Midway through the project, it was clear we were off course. Deadlines were missed regularly, costs were escalating, and the software's stability and performance needed to be more satisfactory.

The initial assessment indicated some critical issues: scope creep, inefficient communication, poor project management, and technical debt had taken a heavy toll on the project.

The Rescue: Bringing in the Cavalry

Realizing that we needed to act swiftly, we deployed our Project Rescue Team, a seasoned group of professionals adept at diagnosing and rectifying troubled projects.

Step 1: In-Depth Assessment

Our team began with a comprehensive review of all aspects of the project. They examined project management practices, team structure, code quality, documentation, communication channels, etc. The assessment revealed that there were problems with resource allocation and software architecture apart from the identified issues.

Step 2: Formulating the Recovery Plan

The rescue team drew up a tailored recovery plan based on the assessment. It included refining the project scope, introducing robust project management tools, improving team structure, and adopting a more suitable software architecture.

Step 3: Communication and Implementation

With a recovery plan in place, the next step was to communicate these changes to all stakeholders - the client, the project team, and the management. The team ensured everyone was on board with the new direction and understood their roles and responsibilities.

The Project Rescue Team then guided the implementation of the recovery plan, monitoring progress closely and making adjustments as necessary.

The Outcome: Sailing into Smoother Waters

The recovery process was challenging, but the team's efforts bore fruit. We saw tangible improvements by streamlining processes and addressing the root causes of the problems. The project was back on track with stable, efficient software, improved team morale, and renewed trust from the client.

Project completion, originally anticipated to be delayed by several months, was achieved with a minor extension of just six weeks. Despite the earlier hiccups, the ERP system was delivered within a revised, acceptable budget, and the software's quality and performance were up to the standards we proudly uphold.

The Takeaways

This case study stands as a testament to the value of a well-coordinated Project Rescue Team and the impact they canmake. While we strive for smooth execution in all our projects, we also acknowledge the importance of being prepared to handle unexpected setbacks effectively.

Crucially, this experience offered valuable lessons about robust project management, clear communication, and maintaining scope discipline. These insights have since been integrated into our project management strategies, helping us avoid similar issues in future projects.

Remember, acknowledging a problem is the first step toward solving it. If you find your software project in troubled waters, don't hesitate to reach out. We've been there and navigated the storm and are ready to guide you through it, too.

Boris Prager
VP of Software Engineering, FilAm Software