Has Your Project Gone Off the Track?

Published on:
June 22, 2022

Did your project lose focus? It is time for you to identify the signs and avoid failure now. A project needs excellent management, a clear objective, and a good team. But, there is no prescription for success. You can follow all the rules and tick all the boxes but fail. Several issues can make your project go sideways, lose focus, and eventually fail. 

Regardless of how thoroughly a project is planned, disaster can still happen when you least expect it. When it happens, project managers must be able to contain the damage and keep the team moving ahead.

Project management

The struggle to completion is real in that case. And often, you might need help to complete it. However, you can spot the indicators if you look closely and save your project immediately. But what are these indicators we keep talking about? While it sounds complex, they are often more obvious than not. We need to focus a bit. When you know what you are looking for, it is easy to spot them. 

As discussed earlier, several signs can help you pay more attention to your project and its position. So, in this blog, MarsDevs introduces you to the signs that can help you recognize these signs in case your project goes off the rails.

How do you know if your project is leaping off the right track?

Software development project
Software development project

It is time to sense the indicators to save your project now. MarsDevs has some points that can help you do so. We must also differentiate the false noise from the real danger. Let us understand what they are and how they can help you. 

  • Objectives need to be clarified as you work on the project. 

When working on a project, you must be clear about the objective. Who the customers are, what they buy, what they do not want, and why. Thorough research is critical if you want to hit the right notes. Consider this situation.

You start working with a theater and prepare a play about saving the environment with your group. You are expecting people to be in love with the piece. But, along the way, you miss the point. The arrow misses the bull's eye, and the play becomes about how nature can be deadly too. When people come, they expect a light-hearted message and a clean drama, eventually becoming a rant as you get off the track. How successful can the play get?

So, you need to give users what they expect. It would be best if you were clear that you could not work according to how your business thinks the users like. You need to know what your users want. Then, stick to it. If you look at the project and realize the objective is unclear, you must pause, step back, and start again.

  • Excess Overtime

Working overtime might be a fantastic short-term response as you race to finish a certain aspect of a project. However, if you see that your employees frequently put in a lot of overtime, the project is likely behind schedule. While covering up the delay with overtime may be simpler than addressing the underlying issues, this is not a long-term solution, and the unresolved issues will ultimately appear elsewhere.

Thus, any project must be tracked in terms of hours from the beginning. With that, you can control the project's expenses better. For instance, keeping track of the hours utilized might indicate when to revisit the customer for clearer instructions before devoting additional time to the process.

Project development lifestyle
Project development lifestyle
  • Too many cooks are known to spoil the broth.‍

Having more people than necessary in your development team for the project is fascinating. They would work together and present you with a better result than expected. You can expect more productivity and better momentum for sure. But when you have too many leaders, the project loses its focus. 

It would be best to have a small team led by one project manager who looks at the project and sees the bigger picture. But, on the other hand, you must catch the beat and return with ruins if you are working on something important. The risk is just not worth it. So, dividing the project management is very important. If done correctly, it will be a tale of fewer cooks in the kitchen. And you want us to avoid comparing your project with spoiled broth.

  • Huge Backlog 

First, what's a backlog? In simple terms, a backlog is a list of tasks the development team needs to do. Every project has a backlog, yet when the backlog becomes unmanageable, it's time to set off the alarm.

The backlog will only continue if you eliminate out-of-date user stories and requirements. Likewise, adding new user stories and changing information in previously released features adds to the backlog. Also, with it, you must develop new estimates and reassign tasks again!

Just like with everything else, in the case of backlog- the organization is half the effort. With it, you need to set the hierarchy of the tasks and their features.  

  • Skyrocketing Costs‍

It happens often. You are working on a project, and it is working fine. You have your budget ready with you. And it is meeting the needs too. But, then, in this smooth run, the project's cost skyrockets out of nowhere. Why would that happen? The reason can be as simple as a wrong decision from the seniors in the team.

Every project has a tipping point when it is no longer worthwhile, and every element that exceeds budget brings you that much closer. Unexpected costs cannot always be avoided, but when they begin to mount up, you can be sure there has been a severe oversight in either planning or execution. An out-of-control budget is one of the most obvious signs that your project will collapse.

However, the sudden increase in cost should alarm you. It indicates that something is not fitting right with your project. The management might suddenly decide they want more from the project than they originally asked for first. Only some stakeholders join the meetings & in case you still need to, here is an evident warning sign for you.

Software development process
Software development process
  • The project needs deadlines.‍

You would guide a project by a deadline. Your development team follows that too. Unfortunately, when you work on a project for a particular client, the deadlines cannot change. Often, you are asked to pay a huge amount of money as remuneration for missing important deadlines. 

However, due to more than one reason, you might miss deadlines. And it is fine. But, when you encounter this problem repeatedly, you know it indicates something is not working out. It is either an issue with the software development team needing help with that task or the project leader imposing impossible deadlines. There can also be an issue with different departments working together.

Whatever the reason might be, missing deadlines constantly is not standard. It often indicates that your project is heading to disaster eventually. Pay attention to early deadlines may postpone subsequent ones, eventually forcing you to change your timetable. Hence, you must get attentive and warn the project leader of the early signs. Of course, they would know about the missed deadlines, but being in the process all the while, they might not be able to see the consequences.

Project management team
Project management team

‍Get back on the game with MarsDevs now!‍

Sometimes it's more challenging to see the warning indications that a project is headed toward complications. For example, team morale may be lower than normal, or the project's production may need to meet the quality requirements set by the company.

A great team of developers might need to help to manage your project well. That often happens with an in-house team. On the other hand, you may need a team of experts to give you a reality check and help you get the project back on track. MarsDevs can now step in. 

We can help if your most recent project is spinning out of control. We can provide a simple project recovery strategy to halt the losses and get your team back on track. 

From ideation to management, development to deployment, you can look forward to collaborating with us anytime you want. MarsDevs is a web development shop that can help you with every development need. However, it is time to work smart & waiting is not wise anymore. 

Let's sit for a virtual meeting, get two cups of coffee, and discuss possibilities. Then, share your requirements as we share the roadmap for your project.

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