How to get a stuck project moving again ?

by Ashvini on May 29, 2012 · 5 comments

in Managing Team effectively,My Personal Thoughts

Projects often get stuck because people working in them cannot agree on the problem. It seems that many projects are into endless collisions of ego and full of supposedly insurmountable problems. Often these happen because

a)  of involvement of ego

b) desire to keep the status quo –> to keep the job or billing

c) inability to deal with the people causing the problem.

The issue is not often about “problem” itself, but about playing a game of one-upmanship. It is also about not seeing the other’s POV.  Problem is allowed to linger on. In the end, here how it gets “solved”

a) One side being more connected and powerful dumps its problem on other side

b) A compromise happens where the problem is ignored and solution is horrible

c) The problem becomes so big that it threatens the project itself.

All three situations are definitely not desirable. As a manager of your project, there is no one else to blame but yourself for allowing things to reach such levels.

If the damage is done, following may be used as  a cure

a) Tell the sparring teams/members how much it is in the interest of project that it be resolved –>gets them motivated

b) Tell them how the resolution is connected to management’s perception of them –>gets them thinking about their career

c) Tell them that you need a good solution and not “any” solution –>puts quality above everything else

d) Tell them that they have your support and make it good –> shows your commitment

e) Look out for the person who is the obstacle to solution. –> using effective diplomacy

f) If needed get your hands dirty. Your team has got technical knowledge but you have the right perspective. –> true leadership

Use motivation, show leadership but do not hesitate to use carrot and stick approach.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Aswani June 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

Hmm…thanks for sharing these valuable points. Yes…projects do get stuck. And sometimes…they are made to stuck. I have seen many such cases where the end result is just a blame game…!


Sonia June 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

I have seen situations like this get very ugly. This is a problem, and there is always someone trying to one-up the other to make themselves look good or pat themselves on the back. The true problem is when management let the cat-fight linger on instead of focusing on the real problem: getting a solution.

It could be personality conflicts or just play immaturity, but getting projects done require direction and team work. It’s sad when you see bad working environments that focus too much on “drama” instead of finding a solution.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena June 4, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Hi Sonia,

Yes , ego often comes between problem resolution.But that is how it works often isn’t it ? It is the team leader’s job to make sure that things go smoothly.


Jeevanjacobjohn May 31, 2012 at 2:04 am

Awesome advice, Ashvini!

I don’t have a company of my own, but when I do, these tips will sure help me to manage things in a smooth way. I think that obstacles are part of the journey, the journey to success. These obstacles motivate us to try, quit, try something new and reinforce our own behaviors to change things, to solve these obstacles.

Thank you for sharing the post,



Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 31, 2012 at 11:48 am

Hey Jeevan,

You are most welcome and thanks for your perspective. I always love to hear them :).


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