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Managing Difficult Projects

Since I’ve started at Pathways, we’ve had great projects and we’ve had difficult projects; some that made us rethink our project management system and how we’ve been communicating with our clients. At our team meeting yesterday, we hashed out some things to help us deliver great results even on problem projects, and to ideally prevent projects from becoming problematic to begin with.

1. Have better definitions of review cycles for our clients.

In the past, we’ve been stuck in endless review cycles and had extra work added into projects through reviews. Moving forward, we’re going to define exactly what constitutes a review cycle and what will happen when a client’s needs exceeds what was agreed on in the original work contract. This also applies to changes in project timelines.

2. Have a high-level scoping document.

The same things apply for defining the scope of the project, its key objectives, and what will happen if any of those things change.

3. Have client sign-off on both the above documents.

We will secure sign-off before proceeding with work; so that we’ve ensured both sides understand the project and have clearly defined, agreed upon goals. This helps us manage our client’s expectations, and lets us know exactly how to meet them.

4. Have access to internal testing on our client’s servers.

While we always ensure everything works 100% on our own LMS, that doesn’t always translate when it’s loaded onto our client’s servers. We will do QA with our content on our clients servers, and have our clients understand the risks if they aren’t able to grant us that access for testing.

These changes will put us in a better position to avoid extra work effort for both us and our clients, ensuring that we produce great work that everyone feels great about in the end!

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