Friday 19 January 2018

Project Reset… When is it a good time to Reset your Project?

Occasionally you may feel that your project may be going off the rails. It could be for any number of reasons including, but not limited to: changing of the project team members, absence from the project, or drastic changes in the design or schedule.

You may need to take a step back and “Rest” the project.

Here are the 5 steps to resetting your project.

1: Review the Project Execution Plan
Review the Project Execution Plan with the project manager and update the PxP if needed (it probably is). By reviewing the PxP you can evaluate how far off the rails the project actually is. Often it’s just a case of reminding the team of the project goals, or their roles and responsibilities and bring everyone back together working as a team.

2: Come together
After reviewing the project goals and scope it’s time to bring together the current project team, and if possible include past team members as they will be valuable contributors to the conversation. Explain the situation to the team and ask for their input, including challenges and current obstacles. Make the project team aware that you are available "one on one" to discuss further as some team members may not be comfortable raising issues in a group setting.

If the issues are not just internal and include the wider project team it may be time to hold an “emergency” meeting. I typically schedule a face to face BIM Lead meeting at least every 6 months, even every three months if it’s a large complex project. Face to face meetings are crucial to developing relationships with the wider project team resulting in an increased willingness to work together and can quite often resolve simple misunderstandings. 

3: Make a list of the current issues
List the challenges staff are having, what the project challenges are, and the barriers to moving forward. From this list, you will be able to address these challenges that are preventing the project from moving forward, and find resolutions. This may require input from the managing principle as well.

Review the current status of the project, this may involve someone from outside the project to review the “quality” of the current state of the project and what's been developed so far. Having a discerning outside opinion of the project, someone who can identify current issues and potential future problems can help identify and avoid issues going forward.

4: Face the Music, to make Music
Doesn’t matter who is responsible for errors, the main thing is to address the issues. Draw upon your resources and delegate, bring in the big guns if necessary and work hard to resolve your team issues.

The harder you work with your team the harder they will work for you.

Address staff needs, if issues are caused by inexperience or workload or lack of management support take note and provide resources to address the project teams needs.

5: Learn lessons
Take note and learn from the experience. Was it a failure of executing a process, or is there an error in the process? Take steps to remedy the situation!

The ultimate goal is to bring the project back into being a successful profitable project. Projects that go off the rails are demoralizing for the project team and has an impact on the profitability of the project and ultimately of the firm. We are all responsible for the success of your project, and if you are in a position of leadership you are especially responsible for identifying projects that are starting to go off the rails.

It’s never too late and always worth the effort!

Update: 1/19/2018.
Interesting article for when to reset your company.

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