Rescue the Problem Project



Book Title:  Rescue the Problem Project: A Complete Guide to Identifying, Preventing and Recovering from Project Failures
Author:  Todd C. Williams, PMP
Publisher:  AMACOM
List Price:  $32.95
Format:  Hardcover
Publication Date:  2011
ISBN:  978-0-8144-1682-2
Reviewer:  Angela Willhoite, PMP
Review Date: December 2021



Rescue the Problem Project, by Todd C. Williams, PMP, is a step-by-step analysis of what goes wrong on projects, why these problems occur, and how to fix (and even prevent) these problems. It provides real world, relatable examples that draw the reader in and make this an exciting read.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book is divided into six main parts:

  • Part I: Understanding the Process and Realizing a Problem Exists
  • Part II: Auditing the Project: Understanding the Issues
  • Part III: Analyzing the Data: Planning for Project Recovery
  • Part IV: Negotiating a Solution: Proposing Workable Solutions
  • Part V: Executing the New Plan: Implementing the Solutions
  • Part VI: Doing It Right the First Time: Avoiding Problems That Lead to Red Projects

Every chapter further breaks down each of these topics and provides detailed analysis, case studies, and summaries for the reader. This book is exceptionally well-organized, written almost as a timeline from step zero (realization) to recovery (implementation).


Just as though the reader were stepping through solving a problem project, the real excitement occurs in Parts I and II as the reader realizes that a problem exists and begins to understand the issues. Identifying the root cause of the problem is critical, and the author stresses this point throughout.

As the book mentions, management’s realization that a problem exists is step zero in the process. Recovery cannot begin until this step occurs. How does management realize that a problem exists? This could happen in a number of ways, including the customer becoming aware of the situation and demanding action.

From there the book launches into a clear identification and in-depth discussion of key issues that can occur on a project, including but not limited to scope creep, vague contracts or charters, high volumes of changes, poorly defined processes, and various technology impacts. Each chapter dives into not only what a key issue may be but what could cause that key issue to occur. These chapters are perhaps the most useful for anyone seeking to learn more about why projects may fail.


To read entire Book Review, click here

How to cite this book review: Willhoite, A. (2022). Rescue the Problem Project, book review, PM World Journal, Vol.XI, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/pmwj113-Jan2022-Angela-Willhoite-Rescue-the-Problem-Project-Book-Review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Angela Willhoite, PMP

Texas, USA


Angela Willhoite, PMP, is a Content Specialist, Technical Writer, and Project Manager. She has worked on technical writing projects since 2003 and has coordinated and managed projects from 2012 through 2021. Angela earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English (along with a Technical Writing Certification) in 2003 and earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2017 and renewed it in 2021.

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