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How to get a failing digital project back on track

As with true love, the path of a digital project almost never runs smooth. Unexpected issues, unforeseen complexities or problems with resource and time management can sometimes threaten to derail even the best planned of projects. As a digital business you can’t afford for your projects to fail or for budgets and schedules to run out of control – but what can you do if serious problems do arise? Rule number 1 – don’t panic! Project Management On Demand can deploy a specialist contract Digital Project Manager (DPM) to mitigate serious issues and get your digital projects right back on track.

This is how the process works:

1. Handover of project to the DPM

The DPM is fully briefed by a key team member, introduced to the team, clients and stakeholders and is presented with a written handover document in a face to face meeting.

2. Review of project documentation and deliverables

The DPM will undertake a thorough review of all project documentation and the deliverables already produced.

3. Review of project with the team

The DPM will speak with the internal project team to assess what has gone wrong and why.

4. Mitigate issues with the client

The DPM will communicate with the client to gauge their feelings about what has happened so far and to reassure them that they are now in control and working to turn things around. They will then arrange regular updates where they will keep the client apprised of the situation and aware of any solutions and new action being taken.

5. Devise short and medium-term solutions

Having developed a full understanding of the pressing challenges and milestones, the DPM will carry out immediate fire-fighting on the project to limit the damage and will set in motion a medium-term solution to get the project back onto a stable trajectory.

6. Initiate daily stand-ups with the team

Whilst in a triage situation, the DPM will have daily meetings to ensure that the whole team is on board and dealing with issues in the correct order.

7. Renegotiate the project schedule or budget as necessary

Having fully reviewed the project documentation and established what has happened with the team, client and stakeholders, the DPM will be able to develop a best possible plan of action. This is the time when the DPM will employ their authority, communication and negotiating skills to have those difficult conversations, ensuring that everyone involved understands what action needs to be taken, and why it is necessary. The DPM will demonstrate control and confidence to keep clients and internal and external stakeholders feeling calm and secure during the process.

8. Implement long-term measures

As the plan is put into action and crisis is averted, the DPM will look at the background causes of the project problems and will implement longer-term plans and systems for mitigating future risks of a similar nature.

9. Post-project review

At the end of the project, the DPM will carry out a full review with the team to inform future project practices. By looking in depth at achievements and problems, and sharing credit and responsibility where it is due, the DPM will establish strong foundations for future project success in your business.

Project Management On Demand supplies skilled Project Management professionals to digital businesses when they are needed most. Working remotely or in-house, our PMs look after your key deliverables, mitigate issues, and keep your critical path on-track, and your clients happy. For more information on our services, visit

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