How to Tell When a Project Is Off-Track

April 15, 2022

Failing projects create a great deal of stress as you face conflict arising from unmet expectations and damage to your reputation. It can be easier to look back on a project and realize where it went wrong than notice the warning signs at the moment, but if you stay proactive and look for the indicators that a project is getting off-track, you can begin project recovery quickly and save the project.

Signs Your Project Is Off-Track and in Need of Project Recovery

Failure to Hit Milestones

When your project’s timeline was created, your team received targets to hit. A delayed delivery here or there might not be a big deal, but if missed deadlines start to stack up, your project is not headed in the right direction. Failure to meet early milestones can quickly roll into delaying later milestones until your entire timeline needs to be reworked.

Sometimes, the people responsible for setting the timeline overestimated the speed it would take to get things done, while other times, you simply hit unforeseen difficulties. This can also be a symptom of scope creep as the parameters of a project keep changing. Regardless of the reason, though, continuing to move deadlines will result in unhappy clients and increased expenses.

Bloating Budgets

Every project has a point where it ceases to be worthwhile, and every component that comes in over budget carries you closer to that point. You cannot always avoid unforeseen expenses, but when they start to stack up, you know a serious error has occurred in planning or execution. A budget spiraling out of control is one of the clearest indicators that your project is headed toward failure.

Competing Visions

The successful completion of a project relies on a team that pushes together toward the same end goal. If your team cannot clearly articulate that goal, or worse, if they have competing descriptions of that goal, you can anticipate chaos and conflict. Making sure everyone is on the same page can prevent many more serious problems.

Lack of Excitement

When you meet with team members, do they seem disinterested and distracted? That disinterest will spill over into the quality of the overall project, so make sure you’re getting everyone on board with the vision of the project and clearly communicating their role in it. If this is a need on your project, our proprietary process can put the right person on the job who will fit your needs and earn your team’s respect.

Excess Overtime

Overtime can be a good short-term solution as you sprint to complete a particular aspect of a project. If you find your employees regularly working a lot of overtime, though, it indicates that the project is lagging. It can be easier to hide the lag with overtime than to fix the underlying problems; however, this isn’t sustainable long-term, and those unsolved problems will surface elsewhere eventually.

Watch out for signs that your project is getting off track, and you can proactively address the problems and give yourself a better chance of recovering. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us at Project Genetics for a free consultation, and our experienced and skilled experts can assess your project and implement practical solutions to help you recover quickly.

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