Sometimes despite your best efforts, a project simply doesn’t have the effect you had hoped it would. And while it may seem like there’s very little you can do to rectify this, there’s actually plenty more to be done than you may have first thought to rescue your failing project.

Here are Project Manager Success’ top tips on how you can turn around a project when things aren’t looking good and get those results back on track.

Analyse your failing project

First things first, you need to know exactly what went wrong; why, how and where. There can be no ambiguity or grey areas in sight here, so make sure you’re able to pinpoint the issue exactly.

This isn’t so you’re able to blame the right person or use it as an excuse to your boss when reporting the results of a failing project. Instead, this will allow you to manage the issue and do what you can and, importantly, while you still can.

Get the team on board

Once you find out what was causing the issue, the next step is to make sure your team are on the same page. Everyone should agree on the problem. You’ll then all be able to discuss the best way to tackle in within a short time frame.

If your project team are at odds on what has gone wrong and are unwilling to be proactive in solving the issue, there will be no hope of rescuing the failing project in time. Call a meeting with your team and manage the current problem before it escalates further.

Allocate tasks

On beginning the project, it’s most likely that you will have already assigned each team member specific tasks. However, when you come to the point that you need to take another look at the project, it’s clear that you need to rethink who’s doing what.

A step back from the project could give you a fresh perspective on who is suited to which job, so don’t be scared of offending by switching up roles if it’s what is best for the project.

Monitor closely

Once you have assigned new roles to team members, you need to make sure everything is monitored as closely as possible. Failure to do so could mean that you end up in the same position again… with a project on the road to failure.

Make sure you don’t monitor so closely that your team members become put off their work. Instead, take an eagle eye view of the project and be ready to take action on any steps that could go wrong.


We’ve written before about the importance of reviewing any project once complete, however when it’s a project that has struggled to get off the ground, there’s all the more reason to.

Once the project is over you need to get everyone together to discuss the ins and outs of the projects, as well as the ups and downs (however much you may not want to).

This will help you manage the same issue in the future and nip it in the bud before it arises.

Are you struggling to bring your failing project back to life? Or do you have some other tips we’ve missed out? Join the conversation in the comments below or get in touch with us over on Twitter or Facebook.


project management expert Oliver Banks

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