Projects have their challenges, and it’s up to project managers to address them head-on. Sometimes, projects don’t go as planned. In the beginning, there is excitement and anticipation for a successful project outcome that delivers much-needed change, but somewhere along the way, the project gets off track. Whether that’s due to unclear goals and objectives, breakdowns in communication, or lack of robust project tracking and reporting strategies, there are so many areas where a project can get off track.
Below, we’ll detail a few of our recommendations for how to approach project management when obstacles arise.
First, we recommend clarifying project goals, objectives, and expectations. Revisiting and/or revising your initial project goals is an essential first step in solidifying the path forward towards accomplishing your goals.
It may be that the initial pain-points and necessary changes the project was set to alleviate have become more pressing or have significantly changed, and by clarifying project goals you’re able to establish next steps with the big picture in mind. Or it may be that project goals, objectives, and expectations were not set appropriately at project kickoff. Now is the time to ensure goals, objectives, and expectations are clear so the project can move forward and get back on track towards a successful outcome.
It’s important that all members of your team stay informed. Implementing a strong communication plan that includes weekly project status meeting calls, weekly project email updates, and monthly or bi-monthly steering committee meetings will ensure that key team members and stakeholders know exactly what actions need to be taken to ensure the project gets back on track.
In addition to communicating project status reports*, regularly reporting on the project’s key metrics such as project timelines, project budget, project resources, and the overall quality of the project outcomes is one of the most effective ways to manage issues both proactively and as they come up.
By utilizing these recommendations, you’re giving your project the best chance of successfully getting back on track. For more information on project management skills, tips, and tricks, sign up for our monthly project management newsletter where you’ll get the latest content delivered right to your inbox. Sign up for our Monthly Project Management Newsletter here.
*Read more about project status report templates and key features in our recent blog post here.