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5 Key Steps to Get a Derailed Project Back on Track

Failure does not have to be the end of the line. In fact, failure can often provide one of the greatest opportunities to learn something new. In an article for CIO.com, Bas de Baat explains where to find the silver lining in a derailed project, and how to get the project back on track. There are five steps to getting a project gone askew headed back in the right direction:

  1. Listen to stakeholder groups.
  2. Document your findings.
  3. Build a positive team of advocates.
  4. Present options for how to move forward again.
  5. Rebuild the team.

The Long Road Home

The first step is to get together with the people who represent the various stakeholder groups and listen. You want to understand the perspectives of the stakeholders and take in interest in what each one has to say. Only after you really listen should you try to explain, in great detail, your side of what went wrong and why. What you discover when meeting with the stakeholders should be documented in a way that is both easy to understand and easy to access for the future. De Baat additionally suggests creating a “living document” for lessons learned, arranging information according to three dimensions of process, technology, and stakeholder group.

While listening to the stakeholders, it will become very evident who is heavily invested in the project and is a strong advocate. When the time comes to put the project back on the tracks and get it going again, you will want these strong advocates on the front line. Such people will also be helpful in an ongoing basis to ensure the project does not derail again.

After you have gathered all of the necessary information and opened up the channels of communication, you can formulate your presentation. This is an exciting moment because it is the first step toward a successful progression forward. It is vital to remember to be transparent and open during this presentation, because that is what will get the project back on track.

The final step is to find the right people to drive the project. Switching up the project team may be very necessary in order to avoid any future blunders:

This applies to internal and external resources. Look further than the required knowledge, experience and skills. Think about personality, leadership style, motivational aspects and willpower. Establish a team with leaders who are intrinsically motivated to make it happen. Aim for a world-class team that has the guts, courage and bravery to deliver with relentless effort. Rebuild trust in the team.

You can read the original article here: http://www.cio.com/article/3099896/project-management/5-key-steps-to-get-a-derailed-project-back-on-track.html

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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