No matter how enthusiastic a team is at the outset of a new project, things can change, and workers can find themselves spinning their wheels on work that isn’t getting any closer to being done. Keep an eye out for these situations — clear signs that a project has stalled.
Here are three project stages where little is getting accomplished, despite everyone putting in the same amount of time as when the project was in full swing.
1. The drifting project
Without clear goals at the start of a project, many teams find themselves aimlessly continuing work without set deadlines or any real deliverable results.
2. The little-problems project
On tough projects, many teams struggle just to keep their heads above water. Problems only seem to lead to more problems and workers only have enough time to address quick fixes without getting to the root cause of the problem.
3. The never-ending project
Many long-term projects suffer this fate. Team members get into the habit of meeting on a regular basis and get stuck in a rut. Or, deadlines and goals are set too far in advance and the team has to wait on too many factors outside of their control before they can complete the task.
Ax the project?
In some cases, these projects can be reeled in by setting simple, short-term goals to start getting things accomplished and moving forward. Other times, changing up the group dynamic, bringing in fresh blood or changing how or when you meet is enough to get everyone focused on moving forward.
But sometimes when a project is stalled and nothing seems to be getting it back on track, it’s time to cut your losses and move on — find another way to get the work done or solve the problem.