Suffer the consequences ….if your project is not set up correctly

I meet many people in both my professional life and my private life including Brian (name changed) who was the owner of a medium sized company. We met at a social function and he kept me enthralled with his story. I will give you a very much abridged version below.

Lost computer data proves very costly

His company lost a lot of data and no matter what they tried to do, it was lost forever. Sadly, there was no backup and two external data recovery companies failed to retrieve the data.

The impact was already profound; losing a client (they should have provided some paperwork but failed to do so) and there were major issues around accounts, contracts, HR alongside the CRM system plus others that would ‘come out of the woodwork’

On a personal note Brain lost weight, slept very badly and some of his staff were working round the clock to try and recreate the data – at great expense to the company and to the staff concerned.

We spoke about this for around 45 minutes and towards then end of the conversation he said to me; set up your system properly (with backup) or suffer the consequences.

Set up your project properly or suffer the consequences

Contrast this with a recent conversation with a prospective client who said they have an approach for delivering projects and they they wanted to ensure they did not miss anything and ‘we need an approach that ensures we set up projects effectively.’

We spoke about what they possibly needed which included:

  • having a firm business case
  • ensuring there are clear benefits identified before starting the project
  • clear risk identification and management
  • establishing clear documented roles
  • identifying and managing stakeholders
  • developing a realistic plan

Are you closing the door after the horse has bolted? *

The list was pretty long and the response was positive. I mentioned we have a simple checklist which we could use to help those involved in projects to ensure they followed the processes needed. My prospective client liked this idea and so did some of the staff I talked with.

Let’s avoid the consequences and ensure we deliver effectively. Or, we could always try and close the stable door after the horse has bolted.


*Horse has bolted is a phrase used for saying that something has been done too late because the problem has already happened.


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