Many circumstances can cause the momentum of a project to slow or grind to a halt, and it is all too easy to lose sight of a project once it becomes stalled. Sometimes uncertainty can slow progress, or other projects take a priority, or outside factors – such as client needs, or even the Holiday season – cause inadvertent paralysis.
These situations are all too common for project managers, but the key is you can’t let a project to be mired in a stall for too long. As important as it is to understand why the project stalled, it’s equally important to recognize what steps to take next.
So how do you jumpstart a stalled business project? Here are five steps to take.
Focus on the objectives. The obvious can easily be overlooked. An effective leader should refocus the project team to review the objectives – each of the goals and why they matter to the project and the organization.
Seek objective advice. Sometimes you can be too close to a project to accurately recognize the obstacles. Find a trusted and objective voice who has nothing to do with the project for advice and a fresh prospective for a possible solution.
Review the stakeholders. Are the right people involved in the project? Is it necessary for every person to be working on the project? You won’t always achieve a consensus, and often times it’s not necessary.
Set appropriate deadlines. The wrong deadlines – such as those set too far in advance – can help derail a project. Adjust deadlines appropriately as the project progresses, moving them up if necessary, to motivate those who work best under pressure.
Define priorities to build momentum. Find near-term project tasks and goals that are attainable, and set the priority and focus to complete them. Communicate, define, and execute the steps to achieve the tasks. Focus on today first, and slowly, the momentum will build.