Pack Up Your Troubles

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Remember—It Can Happen to You
You may not seek out a project rescue. But you can end up on a troubled project without trying. Even the best-run organizations can have an occasional lapse, and some companies make a habit of troubled projects.

Note this article is about "troubled projects," not "doomed projects." You can learn lots on doomed projects, but I doubt you'll find the gain worth the misery. The best thing I ever learned on a fatally wounded project was to say goodbye. It's not always easy to tell the difference, but the chief indicator for me is whether my interventions, and those of my colleagues, are making a positive difference. If a project begins to turn around when the team makes a concerted effort to get it under control, then there are good reasons to stay with it. If you keep your head clear, you will know when that is happening and when it is not.

The strategies I've described can help you maintain the right frame of mind to access your own creativity and devise tactical solutions to project problems. If you can do that, you, too, can enjoy troubled projects and develop your project skills.

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