Currently set to No Index

How to Deal with a Tumbling Project

You or your department may have an incredible project history with stellar achievements. However this does not mean that every project will succeed. Sometimes things simply do not work. Here is my take on how to deal with a tumbling project.

If you have read my previous articles, it will be no surprise to you to see that my first action is communication. Start with and go on with open communication. During any project, having your communications channels open is a must. Whether it is about carrying on a simple task, whether it is about deciding on the next action or whether it is delivering bad news, it is always easier when you have open communications. A project may also be tumbling just because the lack of communications and you may even have the chance to put everything back on track again.

With open communications, I really mean being open, up to the point of being the tough guy. When something goes wrong, many people, fearing to take the blame or be the one who blows the whistle, take cover. I want people to stand up, admit they did something wrong and accept the responsibility rather than crying like kindergarten children (to be frank, I believe that the people who do hide have not grown up despite their age). I want people to stand up and say that the department X have not completed the task. That simple, that open.

RELATED:   CIO Perspective: How to Form Strong End-user Relationships

Sometimes projects seem to go smoothly when they are not.There are warning signs which are easily ignored, such as increasing levels of stress, simple tasks taking longer than they should etc.. As soon as you spot these signs, step in and communicate with people. A little discussion on the issues may reveal a small roadblock but they may also reveal that the project is not moving as intended. In any case, you will get a grasp on things6

Speaking about people, we cannot go on without discussing the politics. There are the project items, costs, materials and there are the people and the politics. If there is something wrong with the IT guy, if somebody is trying make things harder or the tension is rising between the project members, you can suspect conflicting political views. You always have to keep an eye on the people and their politics, of course not with them.

When you spot signs and see that things are likely to go wrong, you have to prepare alternatives and exit plans. Consider your alternatives by thinking about the project outcomes. What does the project want to achieve as the end result? Is the project about implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) application and things are going downhill? What about considering an online alternative?

RELATED:   IT Manager: Choosing the Right Disaster Recovery Software

The exit plans are where you wear your life jacket and abandon the ship. When a captain orders to abandon the ship, he does not do it arbitrarily. He means that he is sure that the crewmembers have done their best to keep the vessel afloat and there is nothing left to do. The same goes with the projects. Have your evaluation times and evaluation points and involve the project members and stakeholders in the evaluations. If the evaluations warrant that the project is going downhill and it is everybody’s best interest to stop it, then do it and avoid future losses (and any other unpleasant situations).

Don’t be afraid to pull the plug when the time comes. People do not want to be the one who puts an end to things. They think that it will look bad, it will stick the failure on themselves and, of course the decision will put the responsibility on them. If the time comes when the project is not going forward and has become a resource drainer, have the courage to pull the plug to avoid wasting future resources.

RELATED:   CxO Perspective: Here Is How You Are Putting Your Company At Risk

If you decide to stop the project, look what you can salvage. Is it an investment, a product, a by-product, a business process? Anything that you can put into future use can be salvaged. Having a project failed does not mean that it is 100% bad. It means that there are a lot of things learned and a lot of things that can be further used.

We have a tendency to walk away when something fails – it may be a project or a relationship. We need to resist this feeling and analyze what really has happened. Before you put the end mark on your project, talk with the project members when their memories are fresh and try to surface what really caused the project to fail. In almost all cases the things learned from one failed project saves many future projects. Don’t forget, experience is the most expensive thing in the world.

Image credit: erpfocus.com

whg_banner.new.10k

How to Find a Successful Name For Your New Blog?
How to Find a Successful Name For Your New Blog?

One of the most important decisions you can make to ensure your blog is among the best is to select a name. While there are more than 500 million blogs available...

How-to Start a Blog – Review of the Best 10 Blogging Platforms
How-to Start a Blog – Review of the Best 10 Blogging Platforms

If you want to start a blog as fast as possible, then you need to consider choosing a blogging platform. Thankfully, there are some excellent free and paid blogging platforms...

How Referral Marketing Can Benefit Web Hosts
How Referral Marketing Can Benefit Web Hosts

Even if the niche of web hosts are fully loaded with a lot of companies they are still one of the easiest to promote because you could write your own...

Broken Links: How to Find, Fix, and Benefit from Broken Links
Broken Links: How to Find, Fix, and Benefit from Broken Links

Links are what holds the web together. Essentially, the web is named as such because of the ability for pages and sites to link to other sources and relevant information....

Brand Value & the Most Powerful Brands (with Infographic)
Brand Value & the Most Powerful Brands (with Infographic)

Brand value – everyone wants it, however, only few are able to achieve it. The subject of “brand value” holds a significant position amongst marketers, executives, and entrepreneurs. Let’s discuss...

Reasons why your business should shift to Cloud hosting
Reasons why your business should shift to Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting has been on the rise since its inception. The improvement to your website performance and business efficiency that comes with Cloud hosting is almost tangible.

Why We Love the IT Support Career?
Why We Love the IT Support Career?

In almost all of my posts I was talking about the stressful side of the IT – the long hours, end user issues, migrations, midnight calls and the like. But...

IT Manager: Ways To Show Your Appreciation To Your Team
IT Manager: Ways To Show Your Appreciation To Your Team

Surely your team struggled hard and made things happen. You cannot say “this is what you get paid for” and just leave – you cannot keep your IT staff that...

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *