3 Quick Tips to Help Get a Wayward Project Back on Track

RL04-15-2016When a new project first begins to take shape, it’s usually easy to keep moving forward because there’s still newness, excitement, and expectation associated with it. As time goes by, though, the project that once seemed to be surging ahead can get derailed and fall to the wayside. Whether it’s due to a loss in buy-in from your team or lost momentum because of a hundred other things vying for your attention, the stalled project doesn’t have to be a lost cause.

Even though it may feel hopeless, it is possible to get your project back on track. Here are three tips to help you push through and starting moving forward again.

Take a fresh look
Set aside some time and review the project. Start from the beginning and systematically evaluate the timeline to refresh your memory of why you started it to begin with and how you ended up where you are now. This is also the time to ask yourself, and your team, some tough questions, recommends CIO.com, a professional resource for chief information officers. Can some of or the entire project be salvaged? Is your budget still realistic? Do you have the right team assembled? Does management still support it? Now is the time to make any needed changes.

Get a change of scenery
After all those decisions are made, you need to get a fresh perspective. Ask for input from colleagues that weren’t involved before. Hold brainstorming sessions with your team to see what new ideas come to the table. Explore the latest advances in products and research related to your project. And make it a point to foster a creative environment to help get this resurrected project off the ground. Discovering a new approach to an old idea is one of the best ways to get your team excited again.

Cut out the distractions
As you begin moving ahead on the project again, take extra care to not let anything else slow your momentum again.  And that may mean telling your team “no.” Too many ideas can be just as bad as too few ideas, so at some point you have to put a cap on the project. Entrepreneur explains it like this, “Although they seem harmless and usually bring value, deviations from the minimum viable product (MVP) can derail the project’s timeline and budget.” So, explain that you can’t use every good idea right now. Focus on the essential elements of your project, and don’t let your team get distracted.

Getting a derailed project back on track may not be easy, but it can be exceedingly rewarding when you finally see it come to fruition. The biggest obstacle is really just pushing past that mental block and re-engaging. Then, once you’re on the other side and have delivered the final product, just remember to celebrate the accomplishment and learn from the experience.

How have you gotten a derailed project back on track? Share your own tips for bringing old projects back to life in the comment section below!

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