Occasionally it’s necessary to put a project on hold, perhaps for a few weeks or maybe even longer. But you don’t want to see your initial efforts wasted. Below are some guidelines to help you gracefully send a project into hibernation without losing all the hard work you’ve already put into it.
- Confirm with vendors the terms of any outstanding quotes or pricing they’ve provided to you. Most proposals include expiration dates, but if you have an idea when your project will be reactivated, you may be able to get them to agree to an extension. Remember, though, that market prices could shift in the interim, locking you into a deal that’s less attractive later.
- Determine your obligations and options under any contracts you’ve already signed. Follow the contract’s provisions if you need to terminate or change existing agreements, or contact the other party to discuss the possibility of extending the contract or otherwise modifying its terms.
- Be especially diligent when gathering and storing documentation. If it’s likely your project will sit for an extended period of time, you’ll have a harder time remembering details that aren’t documented. Make additional notes on discussions that hadn’t been concluded or negotiations that were still in progress if necessary, in order to minimize the time needed to restart your project.
- Work with your information retention team to ensure that project materials are covered under the correct review/destruction schedule. Depending on the nature of the project and how long it’s expected to be on hiatus, your organization may want to amend or suspend its retention timeframe.
- Notify stakeholders of the change in plans, and provide them with as much information as is appropriate. Remember to set reasonable expectations about when your project is likely to restart, and keep them informed as the date approaches.