Tips for Revitalizing a Drowning Project

Although an all-inclusive list of the potential reasons for a project’s failure can’t be provided, some general guidance that is applicable in most cases can be given. Works has made a list of five rescue strategies that could be employed for a failed project.

Avoid any attempts to rebrand the problem.

Facing a failed project is undoubtedly challenging. However, acknowledging the situation is the first step towards accurate identification of the issue. Cognitive psychology calls this process “issue framing.”

The analysis of the project can be categorized into four parts: (A) the current position of the project; (B) the expected position upon successful recovery; (C) the contributors to the current situation of the project; and (D) possible measures to reduce the contributors of the current status of the project.

When all of the four elements of the issue have been identified comprehensively, only then can it be considered that the problem is appropriately structured. But, the exclusion of even one aspect will result in the problem being poorly organized.

Investing time in planning and comprehensively articulating each element increases the probability of resolving issues rapidly and effectively. Nonetheless, quite often, the issue isn’t structured as well as it could be.

Overlooking important information or underestimating the significance of data is possible. It is crucial to analyze the problem from all angles before deciding on a solution.

There could be situations where saving the project might appear impossible. Nevertheless, having a target in view can make it more practical, akin to weight loss that is more achievable when aimed for smaller amounts first.

When you and your team aren’t making progress, don’t give up. Break down the challenge into manageable and achievable steps, which is a process comparable to climbing a mountain.

Consider a climber who is striving to reach the top of Mount Everest. Instead of just concentrating on reaching the summit, they focus on the journey. Climbers are skilled in strategy as they have to keep making informed decisions about the most appropriate route. They comprehend that some paths are safer, even if they are lengthier or involve turning back from the mountain.

I am content if you have made progress toward your objectives. Apply the achievements practically in your work. Start by identifying the most pressing concern and work towards finding a resolution.

Selecting the longer path could result in a missed deadline, but if the alternative is to abandon the project altogether, then it might be a price worth bearing.

Team Restructuring

Even if a team has succeeded in meeting their goals in the past, it might be essential to reassess their abilities concerning the present project. If the project isn’t producing the desired outcomes, it could be due to an insufficient strategy or a lack of knowledge. It could be critical to reevaluate the team’s leadership to confirm if they are equipped to handle the challenge.

It is crucial to assess the team’s composition, irrespective of the situation. While restructuring may not necessarily involve redundancies (the term may have a negative undertone), it could pose a risk to the team’s dynamics that might be counterintuitive.

Reorganizing a team of employees can include various techniques, from hiring new staff to restructuring tasks, modifying management arrangements, or minimizing the number of employees. What measures should be adopted to efficiently restructure such a team?

Choosing the appropriate approach for reorganizing a project can be challenging. Thus, it is essential to conduct a diagnostic analysis initially to determine the underlying reasons causing the project to fail. Utilizing techniques such as Ishikawa’s fishbone can be very valuable in comprehending the problem.

It is prudent to follow a piece of advice: trust your team and hold interviews. Those who are closely associated with the project can provide insights that you may have overlooked. Strive to achieve a harmony between your own observations and their interpretations of the situation.

The likelihood of reorganization is ever-present. The level of difficulty that personnel faces while adjusting to a novel approach can differ from individual to individual. To ensure a seamless transition, it is critical to keep employees updated about the reasoning behind any reorganization and to communicate this information effectively and gradually.


It may not be essential to entirely restructure the team if only a few tactical changes are necessary to restore the project on its path. A fresh outlook from an external perspective could assist the team to accomplish their mission.

If your team does not possess the necessary skills to complete a task, involving a consultant could prove to be a valuable resource. They can offer their proficiency, elevate productivity, and provide a chance for further professional development.

If the current team is facing difficulties in adjusting to new technology or has persistent questions about the company, it might be essential to seek assistance from an external specialist.

In terms of team dynamics, introducing a consultant has a comparatively minor impact when compared to restructuring. Typically, the consultant’s role is temporary, since their services may become less required as the team develops.

It is worth examining the financial consequences of needing the consultant’s assistance for an extended period. In the long term, restructuring the team may prove to be more cost-effective.

Outsourcing the Work

It is crucial to determine when it is appropriate to delegate the responsibility of a project to another person instead of leaving it incomplete. To guarantee the triumph of your project, explore the potential advantages of outsourcing.

It is reasonable that a team may not always exhibit proficiency in certain tasks. Even the most adept teams may confront tasks that surpass their abilities. Hence, seeking external assistance is recommended when such problems arise.

You have two options: either have the two teams collaborate on the project (which is the preferred scenario) or outsource the entire project.

Make sure that the team taking over has ample time to conduct interviews with the outgoing team and review the completed work before the handover. Devoting time to the transition process is crucial to ensure a seamless handoff.

Outsourcing can be a time-consuming process, but recent technologies like AI prediction models allow outsourcing companies to expeditiously select a team from their candidate database and manage your project.

Be Prepared for Anything

Delays, difficulties in communication, insufficient clarity, and problems with project delivery may serve as signs that the project is not advancing as planned. Identifying these factors can help you recognize potential failure before it becomes unmanageable.

Having a backup plan in place and establishing effective communication with staff can prevent issues from escalating. Preventing emergency interventions is the optimal approach to guarantee the success of a project.

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