Get your project back on track


Projects go sideways. This is especially true of large projects with high expectations, complex dependencies, and aggressive schedules. It’s unfortunate but all too common (see: Hertz v. Accenture). When your project is off track, you need to act quickly to recover and meet your deadlines. If you aren’t sure how to proceed, here are 6 steps to get you moving in the right direction.

1. Admit that your project is at risk.

If you feel your project is in trouble, don’t ignore your feeling. It probably is. Admitting there is a problem is challenging yet freeing. Allow yourself to STOP and soberly evaluate the health of your project:

  • Have you missed key milestones?

  • Have you repeatedly sacrificed important scope to maintain velocity?

  • Have you sacrificed quality, just to deliver something?

  • Are costs spiraling out of control?

  • Is everything broken, week after week?

  • Are you in a death march?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your project is at risk.  

2. Assess your resources.

Now that you’ve taken off the rose-colored glasses, it’s time to take a hard look at the facts.

Evaluate how much of the budget has been spent and how much is still available. Understand whether you have a hard deadline or a schedule that can be adjusted. Assess your teams—the ones who anchor your project with predictable deliveries, the ones who are struggling, and the reasons behind these differences. Knowing what you can spend, how much time you have left, and why some teams thrive while others struggle will help you determine what approaches will be realistic when getting your project back on track.

3. Get aligned.

You need to figure out what went wrong, what lessons were learned, and how to move forward. This is also the time to ask if your original solutions are the correct solutions. It may seem very overwhelming, but you don’t have to tackle the issues alone.

Hosting a solution workshop with experts and peers can help you find answers. By bringing your stakeholders to the table with an experienced moderator like Level 11, you will be able to identify how the project veered off-course and drill down to the root causes. We will help you make sure everyone is aligned by reviewing your requirements and revising them if needed. You’ve already committed substantial time and money to this project; we will take all existing work into consideration and leverage as many of the existing assets as possible to reach your goals.

Now we’re making some real headway.

4. Set a clear plan.

Providing clear directives allows everyone to get on the same page and know what they need to do. Be decisive about the team, and make sure you have the right people and tools supporting this project. If not, now is the time to make those changes to ensure the project is delivered on time and on budget.

At Level 11 we have design and development experts to help you set up and navigate a successful project. We are equipped to:

  • Provide in-depth Experience Design

  • Develop world-class software using our XDE™ methodology

  • Create proofs of concept through rapid prototyping

  • Prepare for the production launch or improve your continuous development cycle

  • Perform comprehensive vendor evaluations

  • Create a flexible fixed-bid with committed timelines and costs

Having scoped, planned, and delivered software projects at many different sizes means that we are able to identify the right activities for success.

5. Prove that it’ll work.

They say that “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Have you demonstrated that your core value proposition is technically feasible? Your stakeholders are right to withhold their enthusiasm as milestones slip, and you need to regain their trust as quickly as possible.

There is no better way to do this than to prove the hardest parts of the solution, first. If you’re having trouble finding the signal in the noise, it’s time to consider getting help.

Level 11 engineers have built a discipline out of delivering prototypes around particularly wicked problems, and we can help build yours.

When we Spike the Problem™, we drive through the hardest parts of the project and make sure that root challenges are addressed. Stabilizing the core dependencies of your project is critical and work done without this insight is highly suspect.

6. Do the damn thing.

All of us are here, right now, because delivery matters. You’ve got a vision that needs to meet the marketplace. We’ve got the chops to build robust solutions, and we love doing it.

Let’s start a conversation—it would make our day.

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