Projects in an age of uncertainty. How to get started again.

Following on from the turbulent last six months, we have experienced projects being put on hold, go-live dates moving out or resource being reduced to focus on business as usual. The impact this has had around businesses’ internal innovation and continuous improvement programmes has been significant. With a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, we have collated our top tips on how to get your projects back up and running:

  1. Create a clear detailed remobilisation plan on what you want to achieve

This will allow you to have a solid foundation for the outcomes you want to still prioritise and therefore which projects/programmes will jump to the front of the queue.

A useful tip here is to try to look as far ahead as possible to create a secure structure. Right now it is very tempting to shorten horizons and react quickly. However, the further you can look ahead the easier it will become to prioritise what needs to be achieved first so you can adjust resource and budgets accordingly. 

  1. Review all projects within your portfolio pre-COVID

As part of your re-planning it is important to review the status of all projects within your portfolio and review if they still align to your remobilisation plan post-COVID.

Check out a previous blog of ours (here) where we have provided some ideas on the top nine projects to prioritise following COVID.

  1. Review your resource availability and realistic budgets

Similarly, you will need to look at your operation and review if realistically you can free up resource to support the delivery of projects and if you have the budget to do so.

  1. Engage with your customers

Once you have decided where to start and engaged with the key people internally, you can start to engage with customers to increase alignment of vision and how best to move forward. This should act as a litmus test of whether there are external factors that may halt progress with your projects.

  1. Steer your restart carefully

Once there is alignment from all key parties you will need to steer your restart carefully. With so much change happening it is imperative that you bring your teams along this journey. The key components to consider should be: protecting your employees with clear engagement of direction and ensuring your operation can remain stable.

  1. Change Management

Now, more than ever, Change Management is vital for any organisation coming out of COVID. The level of change your teams will have already been through in their personal lives cannot be scoffed at. Even if a change impact assessment was carried out some time ago, this may now be out of sync with the latest situation teams are facing. Conducting a change impact assessment as the project re-starts will give you visibility on areas of immediate focus and ensure that impacts are fully understood within the context of changing teams, ways of working and personal circumstances.

Change management also presents you with the opportunity and tools to re-kick off projects in a positive way and engage with the business well the second time around. In light of this, don’t fall into the trap of change fatigue, your people might be wary of all the changes that have happened, so keep your communications short and focused.

If you need help developing a remobilisation plan, assessing change impacts or support within any of the above areas mentioned, please contact Esther McMorris and we will set up a free consultation with a member of our team.

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