I’ve Lost It!: How to Get a Project Back on Track Afterwards

It is no lie that even with all of the great minds, great resources, and great intentions that projects can still fall apart. It is frustrating when dealing with missed deadlines, budgets, or worst of all, both. So what can you do if you are off track? Well, obviously you need to change what you’ve been doing.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Add or remove one project person
    • Sometimes you need some fresh blood, or to figuratively spill it. By adding or removing one person you can change the dynamic of the project team. Remember the communication channel equation: N(N-1)/2 ? How people interact with one another whether it is bulldozing decisions or passively agreeing to everything can change if you change the involved parties.
  2. Add a personal touch
    • When you get wrapped up in tasks, agenda items, and meetings project members may begin to coast. Get their attention by doing a kickstart like when you did a kickoff. Do a ice breaker game or another team building activity. For example, take the meeting off-site, bring in lunch for a socialized hour, or tell some personal stories/jokes to get everyone in a collaborative and friendly spirit.
  3. Give them the time of day
    • I know, you are busy. They are too busy tackling all sorts of problems in conjuncture to your project. Sometimes all you need is a break, mental or physical, to get rejuvenated. Take the time to talk to each of your project members and ask them about their vacation time or about anything else that is not project related. They might feel tied down and so give them the benefit of the doubt and a little freedom and then the renewed energy will come back around eventually.
As you can tell, I’m an advocate for positive reinforcement. It is easy to get bogged down by the snowball affect but a little smile and pat on the back can go far. Tell someone today about how their efforts have made all the difference in your project!

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