What is a Project Recovery Plan and Why Do You Need It?
One of the first rules in project management is that no matter how much planning you put in to a project, unexpected obstacles can and will happen along the way, and how you deal with these project impediments is often a determinant of project success. This is where the project recovery plan comes in. The project recovery plan is a road map by which the project’s personnel will steer a project back on track.
Though the plan for project recovery will vary depending on the nature and scope of the project, all project recovery documents have several elements in common: an overall assessment of where the project is holding, a detailed definition of the obstacles or problems at issue, the development and description of the plan for project recovery, and a breakdown of responsibilities among project personnel.
The following project recovery plan template is a generic example designed to suit several kinds of projects. This project recovery plan template can also be freely downloaded as a Word document, so you can add information and amend it as necessary.
Project Recovery Plan Template
This first section is an introduction for the project recovery plan. Here you need to state the overall purpose of this document and briefly describe what is covered within its pages (i.e. the roles and responsibilities of the project team in the risk management processes, the steps that will be carried out to minimize the effects of the stop gaps, the time line and budget for process of project recovery, etc.).
Provide the names and roles of the project management team members. Describe what responsibilities each team member has in regards to the project recovery plan.
First, provide an overall picture of where the project is currently holding. What milestones have been achieved and what has yet to be accomplished. Next, define the core problems, obstacles, and risks that are preventing or slowing down project completion, and list them in order of importance, starting with the most critical issues. Include or reference here any risk-related documentation and any other supporting documents that help define these core issues.
Project Recovery Strategies
In this section you will define the steps the project team will take to minimize the damage, as well as re-organize project priorities, project scheduling, and the project budget to bring the project back on track and steer it towards completion.
In short, at least five elements must be included in this section:
- A breakdown of steps to be taken
- A schedule for the project recovery
- The project recovery budget
- Methods for monitoring the project recovery process
- A list of any needed tools or information
Conclusion and Appendix
In section, you should summarize the project recovery strategies mentioned above as well as the overall goals of the project recovery plan. You should also include in the appendix any supporting documentation mentioned in the project recovery plan.
Use this generic project recovery plan template to help you successfully recover from a potential project disaster and ultimately, project failure.