4 Signs That Your Project is in Trouble

Any number of things can go wrong when implementing an enterprise asset management system. It’s easy to tell that a project is in trouble when it hits the dumpster, but how can you recognize early signs of trouble while there is still time to act? Here are four classic warning signs that your asset management project may be in trouble, and what you can do to get your project back on track.

  1. The staff stages a mutiny.
    Nearly all projects experience some level of pushback from staff, and even moderate opposition can be expected from time to time. But if a large percentage of the implementation team is fighting against the project, and there is strong resistance to moving forward with the system, then a more serious problem is brewing. Addressing the issue will require measures such as increasing staff engagement, transferring knowledge or improving change readiness (check out our accompanying blog for more information). The result most likely will impact your schedule—but a schedule delay is preferable to a canceled project.
  2. The schedule fell out the window.
    Keeping a perfect schedule is as rare as finding a pearl in your oyster appetizer. Schedules rarely go as initially planned. Some slippage is inevitable because not every impact can be predicted. Continuing slippage on a monthly basis, however, is cause for serious concern. A detailed project plan makes determining the source of the schedule slippage relatively easy. If you don’t yet have a detailed project plan, you should invest in one—or you can expect further delays.
  3. Project resources perform disappearing/reappearing acts.
    If your consultant constantly juggles resources for your project, it may be a sign that they don’t have a detailed project plan—or potentially worse, that they aren’t following it. There is only one real solution to this issue—verify that your consultant is adhering to a quality project plan.
  4. The deliverables stink.
    If initial deliverables don’t meet your expectations, there is no reason to believe that they will improve with time. Determining the source of the problem will dictate your actions. Is it a lack of experience, detail or time? Or a misunderstanding of your needs? In many cases, all of these factors play a role, making it difficult to change the trajectory of future deliverables. Problems stemming from lack of time or attention to detail can often be addressed within the existing team. If the problem is experience or understanding, then it’s possible that a new team may be needed. Switching teams mid-project is obviously a painful process, but occasionally it is the only worthwhile option. The best remedy may be avoidance of the problem—beginning with performing the due diligence necessary to form a team with the right combination of experience, capabilities and availability.

So what’s the takeaway? Never underestimate the value of a highly detailed project plan. It’ll solve your problems before they begin.