Project failure happens, and it happens to everyone at some point over the course of their career. However meticulous and calculated the programming, schedule, and budget, those targets still can become seemingly unattainable.

A troubled project is where the difference between what is expected & what has been accomplished exceeds the acceptable tolerance limits, pushing into a course that will inevitably lead to failure.

Carrying a high cost for the organization and associated management, troubled projects tend to leave a long trail of destruction behind them. Abbott has extensive experience realigning the path of a project whose goals have seemed to be unattainable with our Specialist Consultancy.

One of the biggest difficulties with recognizing a danger zone, is that there is never a distinct turning point that deems a project as ‘troubled’.  It is more likely to be a buildup of small problems and challenges that are accumulating, steering the project off course. Once that happens, a difficult decision is required – to either recover or extinguish the project immediately. The challenge for Project Owners lies in how to identify what is a ‘normal problem’ and the point in which the project will not meet its (scope, schedule or budget), unless a third party is engaged to bring the project back on track.[/vc_column_text]

“The root of all successful project management lies in not only balancing the triple constraints of budget, schedule, and scope, but identifying signals of an impending project collapse.”


Every Project Director knows that it is their responsibility to keep an eye on any triggers that a project may be hitting a snag which could result in catastrophe. However, when a project appears to be meeting its targets or milestones, it is easy to forego that closer, magnified examination and continuous project health monitoring, on a regular basis. Hence, demonstrating the value of recognizing early signals that could accumulate into a formidable red flag. Knowing these signs and understanding how to transition through them saves a colossal headache in the project journey thereafter. Below are a few critical warning signs Project Owners should keep a keen eye on that can appear throughout the life of a project.

  • Negligence to Meet Project Objectives & Deliverables
  • Schedule Lag & Failure to Meet Critical Milestones
  • Lack of Project Transparency
  • Tenuous Position between Project Teams
  • Inaccuracy of Project Data


The project recovery framework is broken into four main stages: recognition, immediate recovery, sustained recovery, and maturity.


Many complex, long-term projects fail to live up to their expectations and produce disappointing outcomes on completion. By focusing on the speed and efficiency of recovery, Abbott’s team remains a leader in getting projects back on track, as it pertains to schedule and budget. Whether a project ends successfully, or in disrepair, the most common result lies somewhere in between. This ‘gray area’ is commonly flooded with confusion around cause and effect. Therefore, presenting a need for a fresh set of eyes; untied and unbiased of any ongoing tenuous positions. Abbott is renowned for a few simple, yet fundamental characteristics. Agility, engagement, and loyalty. Abbott’s team not only listens but speaks up, using their voice to reach beyond the boundaries and challenge the status quo. By embracing team collaboration throughout every stage of the project, Abbott breaks down barriers, connecting persons together to deliver a common goal.


Troubled projects are especially common when it comes to ill-defined projects. Before starting your project, it is essential to know exactly what lays ahead, because this lets the project manager, team, and client mitigate any associated risks. By accurately defining a project, the biggest roadblock is already removed, helping to make the following causes increasingly recognizable.

  • Inadequate Preparation
  • Lack of Resources
  • Ineffective Leadership
  • Unrealistic Schedules
  • Failure to Accurately Define Scope
  • Inaccurate Cost Estimations
  • Vague Documentation and Tracking
  • Antiquated Methodologies
  • Unclear Requirements
  • Unmanaged and Unidentified Risks

It may be simply that your current Project Manager has become a little too lax, weakening the continuous health monitoring. Or maybe managing the project from a distance is causing isolation. Either way, Abbott’s sound realignment implementation techniques consistently deliver those predictable results, steadily driving the project forward by utilizing years of experience and drawing lines that connect people with solutions.


Project Directors must first determine the desired outcome of a project, what value that project will bring to the business, and then consistently ensure that all steps taken throughout the journey are contributing to that larger goal the organization is aiming to achieve.

Abbott’s Troubled Project Recovery team provides the technical knowledge and a greater understanding of the issues that are affecting the budget and schedule. We assist clients to recover the time, costs, and quality, by applying sound management techniques and a control framework, focusing on de-mystifying the construction process while increasing the efficiency of the process.

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For Further Information Contact:

Randy Thomas
Managing Principal, Project & Program Manager
T: 800-250-3181
D: 202-602-2199 

1.800.250.3181Book a Consultation