Projects in Chaos

Podcast 16 – Projects in Chaos

Futureproof Your Career
Podcast 16 - Projects in Chaos

Let’s talk about: projects in chaos with Neil Winch

In this Podcast Neil Winch, Senior Project Manager with Buildings and Infrastructure shares his expertise on how to recognise projects in chaos. We also discuss how undertaking creative activities can assist in problem solving.


Points raised in this podcast:

  • If you’re an individual working in a project that is in chaos it is difficult, projects are like relationships. A good enabler is to take yourself away, chat to people and figure out if your project is in chaos.
  • If you concentrate on your environment your world shrinks around you, focusing on the true elements in your environment can be a challenge and when you are in the project it’s challenging to see if your project is in chaos.
  • Take yourself away from the project to see what the problems actually are.
  • Do an activity that is completely opposing to the issue that is causing you problems; physically taking yourself away from the chaos can stimulate your creativity and your imagination.
  • Human emotions are to not want to be conscious of the actual chaos and to avoid the issue. Being inwardly looking a denial is quite natural and normal reaction.
  • Removing yourself and doing something completely different to the project at hands will give you perspective on what is actually happening with the project.
  • By releasing stress and tension and expanding the size of your world, you allow yourself to look more clearly at the situation you’re in.
  • It’s important to keep a sense of perspective and be aware of your delivery, it can become all-consuming, however, you need to look at the challenges that can be embraced and enjoyed. Don’t allow your project to be all consuming, focus on the positives and rewards.
  • From an ICT project perspective, people can’t always see what you are doing and often it is without tangible steps, this is a positive and a negative element in comparison to building and infrastructure.


How to get projects out of chaos

  • Simplification is very important.
  • Understanding and communicating challenges and finding the solution will simplify situations and provide opportunities for problem solving.
  • We may understand things ourselves, however they may not be clear to other people.
  • Re-motivate and reenergize stakeholders to recover from projects in chaos.
  • The power of good communication is paramount, although often people don’t always appreciate how important this element is. Understanding the relevance of all the information using specific tools is a task, however when done well can bring projects out of chaos.
  • There is always a challenge to balance under communication and over communication.
  • Project management is a people-driven professional and communicating too much or too little is a balancing act.
  • Take yourself away from the situation and realise that your project should not consume your world and you need to keep a healthy distance. Stepping away consciously is important from time to time to avoid projects in chaos.
  • Motivation is one of the key things to ensure productivity.

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