So: What actually is a healthy project? I think a reasonable and simple start is to define it as "A project that is broadly on track to deliver to its baselined plan". It doesn't mean the project will be quick, cheap or simple; but these have been factored into an effective planning Baseline that we can have confidence in.
In Project Management the plan is sacrosanct - if you're not on-plan then you need to get back on-plan as soon as possible (via Corrective Actions) or come up with a new version of the plan (via a Re-baseline). If your plan isn't reflecting the reality of your current situation then it isn't worth the paper it's written on, and you have no road-map to delivery - so stop everything and ask yourself: what are you actually doing?
We used the term "broadly" above as nothing ever goes smoothly. There will be issues and variances of course, and we should have defined tolerance thresholds (in our Measurement Plan) which we monitor and control against. Inside the threshold and no action is required, outside and we need a Corrective Action.
We'll talk more about things like Corrective Actions, Measurement Plans, and what we mean by a Project Baseline in future blog entries. We will also soon be releasing a range of Project Management Templates for sale to help you with these very things, and don't forget to sign up to our mailing list so we can keep you in the loop. But for now, what would you define a "Healthy Project" as?
Stay Healthy - PHC.
To understand why do Projects Fail and what we need to do differently to stop it happening again.