A project clinic is a way of keeping your project healthy. A healthy project is one in which the effective use of the tools and techniques assist the project team to build the system. It is also a healthy sign if the same tools and techniques are helping the project manager to estimate the work and manage the project.

Hospitals are where people go when they are sick, and need to be cured. On the other hand, clinics exist to keep people healthy. When a person attends a clinic, they are taking preventive measures to make sure that they stay healthy, and are kept aware of developments in health-care techniques.

Project clinics do the same thing for software projects. The clinic is designed to make sure that the project stays healthy by identifying and solving problem areas, and ensuring that the project continues to make satisfactory progress.

Each clinic is tailored to the requirements of your project. Prior to the clinic, the clinic consultant contacts the project leader to discuss the project. They identify any problem areas, and agree the objectives for the clinic. Prior to the clinic, the consultant assembles the relevant lecture material, papers and books. Examples from previous projects which are germane to the project may also be provided.

The clinic is a mixture of formal lectures, informal discussions and work sessions. During the clinic, the clinician will identify project problems with the team members. He or she will demonstrate how to solve the problems, and how to avoid creating new ones. The clinician will answer questions from the team members, and explain the best ways for the project to proceed. The clinic is a hands-on workshop using material from the real project.