Welcome to Chaco Canyon Consulting!

52 Tips for Resuming Paused Projects

More Views

52 Tips for Resuming Paused Projects

Availability: In stock

Resuming a project that was previously cancelled or put "on hold" is a risky activity — cancelled or paused projects are often troubled. By addressing the issues of politics, finance, technology, team building, and infrastructure, this tips book gives the leaders of resuming projects a substantial edge.


Would it be cheaper to start from scratch? When you resume a paused project, do you wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just start again from scratch? Are you frustrated by the politics? Worried about reassembling a burned-out project team? To gain a valuable edge, read 52 Tips for Resuming Paused Projects

You face a critical decision. Bookings are up, costs are down. Business looks like it's improving, and prices of critical technologies have fallen. That big project you cancelled in 2014 is still a good idea, and you still want to do it. But should you start from scratch or is there a way to pick up where you left off? Tough questions.

Here are just a few of the issues: How much would it cost to start from scratch? How much to resume? How do we get the team back together now that they've scattered to the four winds? What do we do about the political questions? How do we win over the people who got it cancelled back in 2014?

What's on this page:

As the manager of a resuming project, or as someone who'd like to resume a cancelled or paused project, you face problems that differ markedly from the more familiar problems of a startup project, or even a continuing project. You must master the politics of resuming a project, of course, but that isn't enough. Once you get underway you'll face problems that you'll never see in a startup or continuation.

For example, if the project was formally cancelled, many of its assets, both human and not, have scattered. Putting them back together again can be a costly endeavor, entailing risks that a startup project or a continuing project never faces. 52 Tips for Resuming Paused Projects is an ebook packed with ideas that project managers and leaders of project-oriented organizations can use right now to address the special problems of resuming paused projects.

Sample content

Here are some sample tips.

Check for retrospective liabilities
While the project was cancelled or paused, certain expenses, such as vacation and sick time, leases and space charges, which would otherwise have been charged to the project, might have been charged to other accounts. When the project resumes, those accrued charges might suddenly appear in the new project's accounts. Gain commitments that this won't happen, but watch for it anyway.
Watch out for documentation lag
People who ordered this item also ordered How to Spot a Troubled Project Before the Trouble Starts and 52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented Organizations.In most projects, documentation lags implementation. When you resume a project, relying on its documentation is therefore risky, because it usually doesn't reflect the state of the project at the time it was shelved. Review all documentation for consistency, completeness and correctness. Flag anything that's dubious.
Avoid while-we're-at-it syndrome
In an ongoing project, completed items tend to remain static, even when we later discover better approaches. In a resuming project, we have a greater tendency to reconsider and redesign things "while we're at it." Watch carefully for this tendency, and maintain enough discipline to make only necessary changes.
Table of contents

Click the folder icons to reveal (or hide) chapter content summaries.

Reveal all chapter content summaries.Reveal all chapter content summaries.


  • Realign the project to the organization
  • Rename the project
  • Update the project vision statement
  • Recruit some new leadership
  • Make a meta-project plan
  • Consider downscoping
  • Get public support from top management
  • Plan for early success
  • Create dramatic demonstrations early
  • Learn from past efforts

Re-assemble the team

  • Be prepared to spend
  • Be discrete about being selective
  • Marshal political capital
  • Check rehiring policies
  • Watch for residual burnout
  • Remember that life went on during the pause
  • Pay attention to virtual team members
  • Educate the team about re-forming
  • Have a "kick off" celebration

Re-assemble the knowledge

  • Accept that some knowledge is unrecoverable
  • Recognize that much knowledge was invisible
  • Treasure high-level understanding
  • Watch out for policy constraints
  • Realize that some of what you know is wrong
  • Watch out for documentation lag
  • Review training needs
  • Revisit the customer
  • Revisit your competitive analysis

Re-assemble the infrastructure

  • Reacquire scattered resources
  • Do a consistency assessment
  • Acquire contiguous space
  • Attend to the network and servers
  • Allow time for locating tools and jigs
  • Refresh your information base

Do the work

  • Find it all
  • Tag everything as you go
  • Watch for placeholders
  • Examine components you're reusing
  • Search for new reusable components
  • Avoid while-we're-at-it syndrome
  • Focus on risk management
  • Make training the new people part of the veterans' jobs
  • Close the documentation gap
  • Institute reviews and inspections
  • Examine process constraints
  • Test earlier than usual
  • Use testing in unusual ways

Mind the money

  • Revisit build-vs-buy decisions
  • Don't bungle the budgeting or slip on the scheduling
  • Check for retrospective liabilities
  • Watch for parasitic charges
  • Inventory your obligations
Details and additional information

52 Tips for Resuming Paused Projects is in Acrobat format, which gives you several advantages. You can print it, and read it like any book. Or in electronic form, you can use the search capability of Adobe Reader to find passages of special interest to you. If you load it onto your laptop, tablet, or other mobile device, you can read it anywhere — and it's weightless, too. 14 pages.

More info

File size:680 KBytes
Print length:14 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited devices, but single user
Publication date:March 31, 2004
Sold by:Chaco Canyon Consulting

This item is available only in downloadable format.

To avoid shipping charges, be sure to select "downloadable" for the shipping method.

Last modified: 02 Sep 2016 04:14 Eastern Time


Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.