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10 Tips to Bringing Failing Project Back On Track


Are you realizing that your project is on the verge of getting declared as DELAYED; then you should deliberate seriously about following tips to controlprogress of the project before it falls into the trap of actually getting delayed.

  • Go back to the drawing room & work out potential but necessary arrangements that need to be done before discussing with vital project stakeholders.

  • Discuss & negotiate with stakeholders (project sponsors/ customers, steering committee members) about existing arrangements and possible extension of budget (resource/money) or delivery timelines

  • Internal working: Again, get back to the drawing room & rework the internal budget, perform near-reality/feasibility check for reworked & renegotiated timeline for internal arrangement

  • Project Scope: Think of tweaking/reducing project scope - As discussed earlier ensure if projectstakeholders would agree to
  • -- Reduce scope: Non-critical deliverables being removed from scope
  • -- Staged delivery: Including part of the project deliverables in next phase/maintenance work

  • Resize Resource Pool: Add more resources to the project. Figure out the cost-benefit analysis of meeting the timeline vs. cost of deploying more resources so as to speed up the delivery.

  • Inspire team members: Every project has Influential-Star team member(s), inspire & entice them to cover up for slippage & offer them incentives (tangible & intangible) and of course, you have to provide incentives to them.

  • Alternatives/ Replacements: If project deliverables depend on sub-contracted work or some other supplies; perform cost-benefit analysis if you have to opt for alternateive – replacement or substitutes

  • Get a buy in from higher management: Before your project gets into a fix, make your higher management aware of the progress, they may assist you with better interest of the organization in mind.

  • Unaffected customer: All of above points independently or collectively should ensure - project objectives are not getting compromised e.g. customer can continue to work without getting significantly affected; neither your organization's objective should get compromised.

  • Retrospect & Review: Positively, once you come out of the firefighting situation; be sure to retrospect on the situation - reasons for it, remedial actions taken, what are the learning, what should be avoided - were we missing Collaboration, was planing in effective, how we realized the symptoms in later stage, etc. Make sure you carry these learning - how to make project planning effective, practice risk management, ensure team is being updated & uses project management software and collaboration tool.

And finally, it is imperative to mention that bad news will only gets worse if you try to hide it for longer; so be transparent & communicate frequently and clearly and you will no longer have to struggle about such bad news.

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