No amount of project management training can prepare you for a stall. It does not matter how well you have prepared, most project managers and especially a project management apprentice experiences a moment whereby everything seems to have come to a half. Productivity levels drop, and you cannot seem to meet the targets you have put in place. So, what do you do when this happens? Read on to discover the three important steps you need to take once your project begins to stall, enabling you to get everything on track again.
What is the root cause of the project stall you are experiencing? There is only one place to begin, and this is by determining the root course of the stall. You need to analyse the way you and your team are working at present so that you can determine why you are experiencing delays. While it can be very tempting to just blame this on the client, you need to avoid doing so. In most cases, delays occur due to one or two distinct, bigger issues, or a series of small events. It’s important to dig deeper than the issues that are apparent on the surface. You need to focus on the trouble spots that are tangible, for instance, the environment, resource availability, and so on. The best thing to do is simply ask yourself ‘why’ until you have drilled it down to the smallest possible level.
Communicating the issue – The next step is to communicate the issue effectively in a concise and clear manner. While we’re not suggesting that your team is made up of children, you do need to explain the issue in such a way that even a child would be able to understand. This ensures that everyone is on the same page. After all, team members, stakeholders and clients are all busy people, so you need to be concise in your delivery. Think about using a table format so you can illustrate the description of the problem, the task owner/owners, the next steps, and the due dates. Make it clear what you need from your stakeholders, and keep in mind that they are likely to be speed-reading your notes.
Re-plan – The final part of the process is to re-plan. Of course, this is something that a lot of project managers dread. After all, you have already taken the time to put together a project schedule and approach, and then getting everyone to agree on it. It is of little surprise that you don’t want to do this again, but you are going to need to. You need to plan all of the actionable tasks that are needed to bring everything back onto schedule again.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the important steps you need to take when you feel like your project is going off course. If you follow the advice that has been mentioned above, you should be able to deal with any stalls quickly and efficiently so that you can get your team back on target as soon as possible.