When projects get out of control

Businesses grow by increasing the amount of work they perform. Unfortunately, this can really create extra problems for a business that doesn't have the resources to handle the new work - especially a small firm where the workload is already evenly distributed and everyone already has enough to do.

Once you become aware that this sort of situation has developed you have to take immediate action to avoid, among other things, deterioration in your work standards and in your relationship with the team. But no matter whether you recognise the difficulties early or late, there's a straightforward procedure for addressing the issues and getting workplace relations back to normal.

Call a team meeting

Call a meeting of everyone involved in the project. Give them an outline of where things are up to and any other information you think might be of interest to them. Go ahead and acknowledge the fact that problems are being encountered and that this meeting recognises that and is about finding a workable solution.

Now ask for a report from each team member about their current workload - not just on the project but for everything else they are responsible for doing as well. Often new work is begun without any consideration of just how much leeway there is among the current team to take it up and incorporate it along with all the things they already do.

This will provide you with some idea of where you will need extra assistance and how much of it.

Ask for suggestions

When you've got a clear picture of the situation ask your team members for their suggestions as to how the project's requirements can be met as well as making sure all the other workload needs are satisfied. There's probably some catching-up to do and extra support may initially be needed.

Get a consensus on the final decision

You've already accepted ownership of the problem so make sure the solution is one that everyone agrees with. Workshop the possible answers to every problem until you get a consensus that the course of action chosen will fix the problems and will be acceptable to all parties concerned.

Act quickly to implement a solution

Whatever temporary additional resources are needed - people, equipment, software - get it in place as fast as possible. Make this your personal priority and be seen to be working hard to fix the problems.

The worst thing you can do when a project of some kind 'implodes' on the firm is to let things go on without confronting the situation. When the actions you've taken to fix the problems have succeeded and the project has been completed, have a celebration with your team and be sure that the lessons learned aren't forgotten.

Contact us

Email results@businessacademy.nz


Skype PhilANZ


Phone 04 920 0911


P.O. Box 30-545, Lower Hutt 5040

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