How to Inject Life Back Into Your Project

July 3rd, 2012

The recent power outages in the Washington, DC metropolitan area have inspired me to blog about losing power (electricity) and the effect it has on people and communities from a metaphorical project management perspective.  

Keep reading if you are a Project Manager looking for signals or indicators that your project is losing ‘power’ and how to inject life back into your project.

How do you recognize a ‘power loss’ in a project?

It can be hugely beneficial to see your project from the outside-in perspective.  This is something that I have blogged about in the past to encourage PMs to occaisonally step away from the tactical details and see projects from multiple stakeholders lenses.  It has been my experience that there are a few ‘tells’ when a project is losing momentum;

  • Sponsors or key stakeholders have become uninvolved, uninterested, or have moved on to other priorities
  • Workstreams are not meeting agreed upon delivery dates or delivery dates are frequently extended as they near expected completion
  • Lack of integration and gaps in communication, both inside and outside the project team, have people feeling frustrated or disengaged

How do I turn around a troubled project?

It is not always easy to recognize – or admit – that there is room for project improvement, especially when you are at the helm.  Again, just like in real life, projects appear differently from multiple vantage points.  Perceptions are powerful.   The good news is, that while the bullet points above may not be preferred, they are totally normal and may be overcome with a push in the right direction.  Here’s how:

  • Address issues head on.  Avoiding them only makes them worsen and harder to correct the situation.
  • No fault, no finger pointing.  Hold people/teams accountable.
  • Talk about making a positive course correction(s) and others will usually appreciate being part of the solution
  • Integrate.  Explore and address intersections with cross funcitonal efforts/teams
  • Keep stakeholders abreast of status (recent accomplishments, next steps, issues/risks)
  • Seek out creative ways for stakeholders to share a common understanding of why we are doing what we are doing
  • Projects bring about change.  Recognize changes as you go along so other people can share the same understanding of the new normal

How VeriScope Can Help You?

VeriScope has built a leading project management consulting practice on deep functional expertise and unmatched ability to elevate business results.  Is your project in trouble?  Do you need a fresh perspective from the outside to help you and others see maintain a path to success?  Contact us today, let us be your strategic business partner.  We are available on a consulting or contractual basis to staff your project with one of our many competent, results-driven project leaders.

About the author:  Joe Giampa is a seasoned management consultant, Project Management Professional (PMP), and a Prosci certified Change Management practitioner.  Joe shares his experiences gained over the last twelve years while bringing to life the visions of senior leaders by implementing leading-edge solutions, systems, and processes for multi-billion dollar companies.  Joe is the Chief Project Manager at VeriScope, Inc. – a leading provider of Project Management consulting, staffing, and training to commercial and government clients looking to  mature internal project management capabilities and maximize successful project outcomes.

Follow Joe on TwitterLinkedIn, or Facebook.  Read other blog posts.

4 Responses to “How to Inject Life Back Into Your Project”

  1. S. Archer Says:

    Great post!

  2. Joe Says:

    Thank you for reading and commenting.

  3. Devis électricité Says:

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for supplying these details.

  4. Bill Marksford Says:

    “metaphorical project management perspective”… This is a new term for me!!!

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