What to Do When Projects Are Off Course
If a project you’re working on is off course, what can you do to correct it? Perhaps the product just isn’t working at all. Perhaps you’re way over budget. Perhaps things are taking longer than they should. Whatever the case may be, if your project is off course, now is the time to steer it back in the right direction.
==> Identifying the Issues
The most important question you should ask yourself when you’re reviewing project issues is: “Is this a recurring issues, or a one-time issue?”
Issues come up. It’s an unavoidable truth in business. Things almost never go as expected. However, if you find that the same mistakes keep coming up time and again, then chances are there’s something off in your business’ systems.
Have your team keep logs of the challenges they encounter. For example, if your team is having issues in developing a new iPhone app, have them keep track of all the issues that are causing delays or causing the project to go over budget.
Review each and every one of these issues with your team. Brainstorm workaround together and come up with permanent solutions for recurring problems.
==> The Planned vs. Actual Habit
Get in the habit of tracking whether or not your projects are happening in the timeline or budget that you predicted.
This doesn’t necessarily help with the current project you’re working on, but can help you get a lot better at predicting timelines and costs in the future.
==> Do You Have the Right People
One tough truth you might have to face if you’re regularly facing dropped projects is that you might not have the right people.
Having a team of A-Players makes getting things done a whole lot easier. If there are people on your team that are regularly procrastinating, being negative, not getting things done or don’t have the necessary skills, you might have to face the tough choice of letting them go.
==> Re-Examining the Project
If the project gets far off course, you may have to take some time to re-examine the project.
Ask yourself: Are the goals of the project still the same? Do you still believe achieving the project now will still have the same benefits?
Re-examine the costs. Now that you have more experience with the project, what are your updated projections for the necessary time and money to complete the project?
With these two things in mind, you’ll be able to make an educated decision as to whether the project is still worth it. If it is, you may want to “re-launch” the project with new goals or a new approach to get your team fired up again.