Project Management

Getting Stuck in the Middle

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

Writers attempting to compose a book for the first time often find themselves stuck in the middle of the novel with no way to get out. For that matter, even experienced writers get caught in this trap; everything in the plot is set up, but suddenly the characters have no way to get past their struggles. They are trapped in the midst of all the clever ideas the author had, but nobody can see a way to get over the hump in the middle and get on to the climax of the story--and then finally the ending.

The same phenomenon often happens in projects; the team is working diligently, but progress has slowed until everything seems almost like busy work--and nobody can see a way to get to the final goal of the project. The finish line is out of sight and out of mind.

Plan for It (aka, Overcompensate!)
The first step in dealing with a project stuck in the middle is to plan for it from the beginning. The project plan should overcompensate for what will happen in the project. This might be done by splitting the project into specific phases with detailed information about how to get from what phase to the next. The phased approach will help split up the large project into smaller projects and the project team can see the forward momentum without getting stuck.

Another way to overcompensate is to leave plenty of downtime in the schedule on a regular basis. A project team that …


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When someone is lying, is it true that their pants are actually on fire?

- Jerry Seinfeld