15 ways to salvage an IT project when everything has gone wrong

  • Even a project that seems a total loss can still be salvaged with the right approach!

  • Balanced and well-thought-out communication in the team-client-organisation plane can help overcome any crisis.

  • Learn about the good practices that help you to escape successfully from projects where everything goes wrong.

Time left to the deadline – one month. The product is not fit for showing, and the chances that it can be fixed in time are slim. The team feels demotivated and are wondering why they are doing all this. The client, annoyed and disappointed, complains about the quality of cooperation and threatens to invoke contractual penalties. What can be done to avert disaster?

First step: consider all areas. If it is really bad, one change is not likely to solve all the problematic areas comprehensively. Second step: avoid highly complex solutions; instead think of the simplest ways to achieve results. Do not ignore the obvious. Third step: communicate clearly and transparently – with the client, the team, and the organisation.

What specifically should you do in a crisis situation?

The team

  • Give or restore a sense of purpose to everyone, and outline a specific goal.

  • Let everyone feel they can influence matters, in order to increase responsibility.

  • Provide a framework for trust – clearly define your expectations and limits of responsibility within specific roles, but also let it be clearly known that you believe in your team’s competences.

  • Keep everyone up to date – discuss what is happening, and announce what you are working on.

The client

  • Maintain 100% transparency – if it was not so before, fill the gaps with information.

  • Stay in contact – do not limit yourself to reports and answers to questions; instead be the side that initiates communication.

  • Notify the client about the risks as soon as possible, presenting alternatives at the same time.

  • Focus on delivering value – propose the decomposition of the scope and feature cuts while maintaining the basic priority: the product must be serviceable for the end client.

  • Bring the team and the client closer together, do not be the sole contact point.

The organisation

  • Introduce or shorten the iterations within which the team worked – the greater the focus on what is essential at the moment, the greater the chance of success.

  • Ensure support from other parts of the organisation – in the form of consulting, space, and tools.

  • Stay close to the team and close to the client. All the time.

  • Listen.

  • Do not ignore problems that are brought to your attention, regardless of which side they come from.

  • Orient yourself to be a servant leader – assist, clear away obstacles, and be an example.

There is no crisis you cannot fend off! Just keep calm and remember the above advice. Cybercom Poland provides comprehensive and scalable scrum teams that can successfully complete your technological project.

About the Author: Kaja Kujawska

Certified Scrum Master and Project Manager experienced in various fields – from Pharma, through Advertisement to IT industry with which she has been linked for 7 years now. A great supporter of working in accordance with the principles of management 3.0. Graduate of Slavic philology.

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2019-03-21T07:57:18+00:00October 22nd, 2018|articles, management 3.0|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Jan November 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Mam nadzieje na to ze nie bedziemy musieli w przyszlosci korzystac z tych rad.

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