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Three Ways to Cope When Your Project Goes Off the Rails

We already know that there is no such thing as a perfect project. There will be road bumps here and there. Every once in a while comes a project that completely goes haywire and we feel like all hope is gone. Well, take a deep breath. It can be fixed! In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin offers three ways to cope when a project goes off the rails:

  1. Work with your stakeholders.
  2. Work with your team.
  3. Work with the process.

Find Some New Rails

When all is falling apart you need the help and support of your clients, customers, sponsors, and stakeholders to get things right again. This is not a time of placing blame but rather of getting down to business and sorting everything out. Own your faults and your mistakes, and do your best to avoid conflict that will only make things worse. Harrin says, “That’s going to earn you credibility in the midst of a crisis. You’re doing it to get back to a point of collaboration, not finger pointing. Plus, it’s just good manners to take responsibility for your mistakes.”

Next, invest in and truly know the members of your team. Know who you are working with and how they operate. Building this essential relationship makes it easier for your team members to see that you are doing your best when the chips are down. You truly need to lead.

Lastly, when problems arise you do not want to have to sit and brainstorm how to deal with it in the middle of chaos. Be proactive and have a plan/process for being able to sort out and fix what is wrong. Develop a process for troubleshooting and managing project issues. Come up with a communication plan that will be beneficial when you need to start communicating clearly about the crisis at hand.

At the end of the day, do what you got to do to get the job done. No plan is perfect, but following these three tips will surely help guide you to success. You can access the original post here:

About Melissa Colon

Melissa is a staff writer for AITS, with a background in journalism. She has previously written for York Dispatch and York Daily Record.

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