Find out if your project may have been doomed from the beginning. We’ve made a video of common signs that can show if your project is just not doable.
Occasionally a project comes along that looks like it just can’t be done. Are you a project manager who’s taken on projects that were too big, too complex, or didn’t have adequate resources or well-defined objectives? Have you ever encountered a project that you weren’t sure could be successfully completed? As a business manager, maybe you’ve watched past projects fail because of poor planning, poor implementation, or lack of support. With careful planning and some creativity, almost every project has the potential for success.
First, consider your project’s objectives. Are they well defined and measurable? Do they meet the business needs in front of you? Without clear objectives and the ability to measure your achievements, your project will never be considered a complete success.
Next, think about how much support you need and can expect from the project’s champions and your executive team. High-level backing is necessary to secure the funding, personnel, and other resources your project is sure to need.
Now ask yourself if enough money has been budgeted to support everything your project is expected to accomplish. A successful project requires a committed and approved budget that meets the project’s anticipated resource needs.
Along with funding you’ll need to consider staffing. Whether your project will rely on internal employees or external vendors and business partners, remember that people power is the engine that moves your project forward.
And finally, determine if your project team has the right skills and expertise to complete the project. Experience and know-how is critical to success, and without it your project will fall short.
In some cases, you may not discover your project isn’t doable until after you’ve started working on it. Maybe earmarked funds disappeared, or a hiring freeze has limited your ability to attract professionals with the necessary skills. What can you do if you find yourself in that position?
One option may be to simply stop the project. Before taking that step, though, you should consider any potential long-term impacts. Will halting your project leave you with unneeded real estate or other assets that might be difficult to sell? Will your company need to let staff members go? Are there ongoing obligations to consider, like lease agreements or business contracts? Depending on the project, halting operations might be more cumbersome than your next option, which is choosing to continue the project on a scaled-back or modified basis. In this scenario, you’ll need to revisit your business needs, decide what the project’s new objectives will be, and make sure you’ve met the other criteria to successfully complete the revised project.
A third option is to continue the project with its original scope and objectives, but gather the missing components that are currently making the project undoable. You may need to recruit additional staff or hire an external project management consultancy firm. It might be necessary to locate supporters at the executive level, or attract new or additional champions. Your team may be required to apply for increased funds to give the project a large enough budget to meet its objectives. And you might need to revise the project’s timeframe and schedule to better incorporate your team’s activities.
A Project Management Consulting professional like PMAlliance can help you evaluate your project for potential issues, and work with your team to create solutions that put your project back on track.
Contact PMAlliance to find out how our consultants can make your next project doable from the get go.