4 Steps to Get Your Project Back on Track

Posted: 31/07/2018

If you’ve ever managed a project, you’ll know that setbacks and challenges are inevitable. Tasks can get missed, timelines can be stretched, priorities change and business-as-usual activities can take priority over the project. The good news is that with these four steps you can get your project and project team back on track.

Step 1: Review the situation

Ensure you have a realistic assessment of the current situation.

  • Do you have the appropriate setup in place to take account of the current situation?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • What are the requirements that need to be met?
  • What are the key timelines?
  • Where is the current progress of each key activity?
  • What is the status of each milestone?
  • Is each person clear on their roles and responsibilitie

Be clear on what if anything has changed. You may need a full project reset if it’s significant enough.

Step 2: Scope the extent of the problems and be clear on what’s occurring.

Clearly determine what are the issues.

  • Are reporting lines clear? Where are the current statuses up to?
  • If you’ve got traffic light reporting, which are showing red & amber? Do you clearly understand why? For those that are green, are you confident this is an accurate representation of the situation?
  • To what extent are external problems affecting your timing and progress of the project? What about internal? Do you have any control over these?
  • Where are the bottlenecks and issues?
  • Do you fully understand why the problems are occurring?
  • Are set meeting rhythms occurring?
  • Has reporting been consistent or has it stalled?

It is a good idea to check with your stakeholders to hear about the challenges they are facing, but ensure you use this information to determine the root cause of the issue and find the major problems. All projects have challenges, but finding the root cause is often not easy.

Step 3: Develop and Implement an action plan

Now that you have a good view of what you are currently facing, you can start designing your plan of action.

  • Build out the key actions that need to happen, include responsibilities, due dates and statuses. Download our action plan template here.
  • Ensure you have spent enough time planning and designing the new way forward – consider external factors you have no control over – you have to work with these.
  • Update your stakeholders regularly – Develop a communication plan if you haven’t already got one.
  • Setup a regular meeting rhythm for Action Plan progress

Step 4: Bring in a high performance team

The right team will be an important part of making sure your project gets back on track. Decide who you will need to action the steps in your action plan and who will be able to succeed.

  • Do you have skilled team available to focus on this project?
  • Do your resources have enough time to dedicate to the project on top of their business-as-usual activities? If they don’t, are you able to realign their work and priorities to set them up for success?
  • Do you have the right people with the right skills on the right activities? Consider a simple skills audit if people don’t seem to be progressing with their actions – stop and question what the barrier is here.
  • Are people clear on their roles and responsibilities?
  • Do you have the right and available resources or will outsourcing this work be more efficient in terms of time and/or cost?

TIPAsk them to explain what their core role is. What they’re responsible for – let them speak and listen carefully. Does what they’re saying align with what you would say? If not, where are the gaps? This will show you where clarification is required. Remember – people’s perception is their reality – so it’s up to you to find out what that is and help to clarify it if required.

Need more help to get your project back on track? Call us today on 1800 870 677 or email info@dvesolutions.com.au. You may also like to download our Implementation Plan template that can help you track project actions and activities quickly and easily.