Get delayed projects back on track in 5 steps

A delayed project is never part of your plan. But it does happen, no matter how thoroughly you’ve planned the project schedule. Don’t worry, its’s not a lost cause: you can always make a difference.

Instead of wondering how project delays could happen, since the stake is rather high in the case of project management, where things are constantly changing, why not think a few steps ahead and see what can you do to mitigate the risks of a delayed project?

How To Mitigate The Effects Of Project Delays?

Here are 5 proactive steps you can follow to better cushion you the hit from project delays. Feel free to explore them all, and let us know what you think should also be included here:

Step 1: Know Your Causes Of Delay

Analyze the root causes of the delayed project, and get started from there.

Poor team cooperation, lacking a solid quality plan in the NPI (New Production Introduction) stage, unrealistic project schedule, and lacking a schedule risk analysis are some of the most commonly seen reasons.

So collect all the data and information you have, analyze them, and see where to make the difference in the delayed project.

Step 2: Assemble A Strong Team

Now you’ve figure out the cause of the delay, it’s time to gather the right resources and fix the problem.

There’s no identical team structure, since every delay is unique. But you should assemble the team, or re-allocate the responsibilities, based on the analysis you make in the 1st step.

The bottom line is, the roles and responsibilities in your team should be clearly defined.

Step 3: Make A Proactive Mitigation Plan

Analyze the problems carefully, come up with a series of solutions, and make them into an actionable plan.

Such solutions should be fully examined and vetted, and you should always come up with their alternatives in case anything goes south. Be realistic with the plan, don’t burn you and your team out with goals that no one can reach.

You need to make sure that such solutions and alternative ones are approved by key project stakeholders, which makes it all the more important to run through every possible remedy and risk on your side.

Step 4: Take The Right Actions

Now you have a good team, and an actionable plan, all there’s left for you to do is take actions.

Make sure that the actions are properly executed, and that actions taken are really giving out promising results. So, you should never miss the review of the plans regularly. In the case of a delayed project, you should review more often than usual.

The Whole Time: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communication along the way is what keeps the project viable.

We couldn’t stress enough the importance of communication in project management. It’s something you need to do in almost every step of the way, not just for project delays.

If you can, create an enabling environment where everyone can be open, direct, honest, problem-solving oriented. It’s important for all stakeholders to have the confidence in the remedies and the team, and keeping everything clear and open is the way to go.

That’s what we’ve got for now.

If you’ve successfully handled a delayed project before, feel free to leave a comment and share with us the secret to success. 🙂

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