The world of project management is full of pitfalls and delays. Usually, a skilled project manager can navigate through these issues, but every once in awhile they become a more serious problem. Here are some steps you can take when a project of yours gets stuck.
1: Assess the Problem
When a project gets stuck, one of the worst things you can do is keep pushing forward even when you aren’t totally sure what’s bogging you down. It’s a natural urge to grit your teeth and trying to keep going, but it’s better to step back and take time to assess the problems with the project before moving forward.
2: Take a Snapshot
Getting your project unstuck might require some outside-the-box thinking or other steps to shake up the process. If you’re about to take drastic measures, make sure you have a backup of the project that you can revert to if you need.
3: Assess Your Resources
Take a moment to figure out what your resources are at the moment and compare that with where you expected to be. Did you have a surprise budget expenditure that puts you low on cash? Has the timeline been condensed? Do you have enough manpower to keep going? Knowing these things will help you plan ahead.
4: Build a New Roadmap
Once you’ve figured out where you are, you need to build a plan to get to where you want to be. This should be a visual map that shows a step-by-step progression through your project.
5: Develop Contingencies
To make sure your project doesn’t get stuck again, your roadmap should include contingency plans that help you navigate around anything that might go wrong. You can either keep these contingency plans as part of the main roadmap, or you can create alternate maps that can be linked to when one of the contingencies is needed.
6: Revisit Your Communications Strategy
Your communications strategy should include a way to maintain good documentation, a set of standards for your team to follow, and clear guidelines as to the role of both employees and clients. Good project management software allows you to keep this strategy in a consistent format while also allowing for better internal communications.
7: Set Billable Milestones
The most common reason that a project stalls out is a problem with the cash flow. You can stop this from happening by identifying set milestones where it makes sense to bill a client. That way, you get paid for your progress and can use the cash to help make sure that you stay in the black all the way throughout.
Projects can stall out for virtually any reason, but there are many ways to get them going again. By following the advice here, you should be able to keep your project from getting stuck for very long.
Below is an infographic on project management.
Have you ever faced similar situations when your project got stuck, and you did something to get it rectified? Do tell us your view in the comment section below.