A study by TeamStage indicates a 70% failure rate for projects worldwide, with larger, more complex projects failing at notable rates for various reasons, such as passive project sponsors, insufficient resources, changing organizational contexts, or lack of internal alignment and stakeholder commitment. These failing projects not only affect the financial outcomes but also dampen team morale and engagement.
When a project is veering off course, it’s crucial to rekindle team motivation to steer back towards success. One can start by revisiting and possibly redefining the project’s purpose, objectives, and vision. Unclear goals contribute to 37% of project failures, and aligning the business with project goals is essential, as misalignment leads to 44% of project failures. Realigning the project may involve revising the project charter and ensuring executive sponsorship, which is present in 62% of successful projects.
Encouraging the team to collaboratively troubleshoot and outline a way forward is another strategy. This involves creating a safe space for open dialogue and collective problem-solving, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose. Removing obstacles is another key role for the project leader, which may include reprioritizing tasks, reallocating resources, and clarifying roles to avoid duplication of efforts and internal friction.
Understanding individual team member motivations is also vital, as different people are driven by different incentives, such as public recognition, monetary rewards, or career development opportunities. Regular team connections through scheduled meetings can facilitate ongoing communication, timely adjustments, and team cohesion.
Lastly, celebrating small victories and providing personalized recognition can significantly uplift the team. Recognizing progress, whether through team celebrations or individual acknowledgment, can boost morale and foster a sense of optimism and motivation.
By implementing these strategies, a project leader can rejuvenate the team and redirect a faltering project towards a successful trajectory, creating a positive feedback loop that benefits both the project and the team.