Consider the following scenario. You have committed to your board of directors and investors that you would have your new product ready by, say the end of the year. You invested significant dollars and internal resources in a development partner that has not met milestones and continues to creep over time and budget. Your next board meeting is upcoming and you do not have good news to share. If you stay on this track, you know you are likely to lose the confidence of your investors, and the missed milestones may directly impact the upcoming tranches you need to keep the company going.
How do you get your project back on track, ensure investor confidence, and meet realistic milestones to assure continued investment? To rescue a failing development project consider the following guidelines.
Acknowledge the Problem: It’s no surprise that the most important step is to realize that you need to change course and that now is the time to make that change. Too often companies will “stay the course” because it seems like the least risky option. In reality, this is more risk because of the proven history of missing deadlines and going over budget. While finding a new course is painful, particularly against a deadline, it is a necessary, and critical step to get back on track.
Don’t Repeat Mistakes: Too often a struggling project will replace one “all-in-one” partner with another, similar partner, thinking that the problem was simply the partner chosen, when in fact it could be the overall partner strategy. A deeper analysis of the overall project may reveal challenges in the business, technical, regulatory or programmatic areas that require a different partner or set of partners to overcome.
Be Pragmatic: You project is missing milestones and going over budget. Were the original milestones unrealistic? Was the budget ambitious? If the goal is to bring a successful, high-quality, safe product to market, now is the time to revisit the milestones, budgets, and goals.
Put yourself in a position to give the board and investors good news. Feel confident when you say that your project is on track to get to market and meet the COGS target through a product development schedule you can build your business on.
It can be challenging to rescue a failing development project, but Resolution has years of experience helping companies get their projects back on track. Our 911 Project Rescue program is specifically designed to analyze where you are now and how to get you where you need to be.