What do you do when a project hits a snag? Not a possible problem—but one that has come to a head. In this post by Bernadine Douglas, 5 tips are shared that might just make the difference. They include:
- Seeking out sponsors
- Consulting with the team
- Relying on backup and supporting information
- Enlisting outside resources, if needed
- Remembering that stopping is also an option
Talk to Your Team
Out of all of these, the second tip (consulting the team) might be the most beneficial and the most overlooked. Project managers might assume that everyone is on the same page and knows what’s going wrong, but that’s not necessarily the case. Furthermore, bringing everyone together also gives the project leader a chance to change the focus from potential individual mistakes to the situation itself:
Bring everyone together, discuss the problems surrounding the project, and begin to discuss counteraction and next steps. Steer away from blame and trying to determine who is at fault. Beware especially of ganging up on the customer. Team members may want to take the position that it's the customer's problem, not the team's. But be clear that the point of getting together is to determine how to solve a problem project, not pass it off as someone else's fault. Instead, gear questions toward possible solutions and the support needed to achieve them.
The last tip might throw off some project managers, as it can seem like a failure—but consider the alternative: projects which go on too long can have amazingly high price tags, and if the project is already failing, there’s a good chance all that money will go to waste. Instead of continuing a project that is clearly going south, it might be wise to close it down and save the time and expense.
Read the full post here: http://blogs.pmi.org/blog/voices_on_project_management/2013/10/getting-out-of-trouble.html