It is confusing to lead an inherited project nowadays because no two projects are the same. You feel out of depth and vulnerable. In her blog article, Sarah M. Hoban discusses 8 steps to help project managers effectively lead an inherited project midway.
Handling an Inherited Project
The first challenge of leading an inherited project is confronting ongoing issues. So, you need to quickly identify what requires immediate attention and what can wait. Below are the 8 steps to lead an inherited project midway:
Understand Your New Stakeholders: Getting stakeholder support is important for all projects, especially when you are handling an inherited project. Talk to them, understand their expectations and their preferred communications style. After figuring out your sponsors and customers, focus on your team. Know their limitations, strengths, availability, and interests.
Know Your Actionable Items: Ask your stakeholders to forward the list of actionable items. Clarify your doubts. Keep a note of all the things they say. Those meaningless terms will gradually make sense once you settle in. You might have to check out the inventory soon and upgrade its content.
Bond with Your Team: Make it a point to meet your team as early as possible. Shadow their work or have a one-on-one with each. Ask about their interests, working style, career goals, etc. to help you maximize their talent and skills for the inherited project.
Figure Out the Project Budget: Customers might want expensive features that the project budget cannot afford. Identify the limitations before promising something that you cannot deliver.
Create a Project Schedule: Because of the handover, your inherited project might have lost valuable work hours. Create a new project schedule and regularly tick the completed tasks off your to-do list.
Introduce Yourself to the Customers: Once you are done with the above steps, it is time to introduce yourself to the customers. Ask the exiting manager to send an introductory email. You can be an adaptive leader and maintain the same level of communication they previously agreed on. Or, you can evolve new ones.
Go Creative: Change how the team functions if you know better approaches. Ask your team and customers to throw in some of their ideas. Let the best ideas win.
To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://www.sarahmhoban.com/blog/what-to-do-when-you-get-a-new-project