The fear of going over budget is something that you will be acutely aware of on every single project. It is a disaster when any project runs out of budget, as this almost certainly means that you won’t be able to achieve what you planned to do.
If you are working with the PRINCE2 approach then could you find a way to handle this massive setback? There are a few useful tips that might help you to salvage the piece of work after all.
Work Out What Went Wrong
The first thing to consider is why it all went wrong in the first place. Were your estimates way out or did the scope get changed after the budget was set? Did you make a mistake when filling in a spreadsheet with the budget figures or did you type something wrong in the initial documents?
There are numerous reasons why a project can run into budget problems. However, one of the secrets to success with PRINCE2 is to plan every part of it extensively at the very beginning.
If you can clearly see what has gone wrong here then you can take steps to avoid it ever occurring again in the future. You definitely don’t want to come across exactly the same issue time and time again on each new project.
Re-Consider Your Goals
What do you need to change in the project to deal with the lack of money? Is there the possibility of delivering something more modest than was originally planned? Could you strip out part of it without there being a noticeable effect?
Your stakeholders may be set against any changes of this nature. Yet, drastic times call for drastic action and it may be that this is your only hope of salvaging something from the project.
Produce a clear and detailed update for your stakeholders that allows them to take a decision on how to proceed. Ideally, you will still meet the main objectives and have a plan in place to deliver the rest later on.
Look at How Your Team Can Help
Can you turn to your project team for help? If you have experienced, multi-skilled team members then they might be able to help you to reduce the cost of hiring specialist contractors or freelancers for certain jobs.
Do you have anyone who has already completed their PRINCE2 course London and is ready to step up to a more senior role? By re-organising the structure of your team you might find that it becomes somewhat easier to divide up the work among fewer people.
Don’t rule out the possibility of a team member thinking of a smart way of saving the project. A brainstorming session in your team meeting could produce results that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
Get Creative in Your Ideas
This could turn out to be a fantastic test of your creativity. Can you think of unusual ways of saving the piece of work without any more money?
It is amazing how being under pressure in this way can help to focus your mind. If there is a way of guiding your PRINCE2 project to a successful conclusion then there is a good chance that you find it when you give yourself a chance to do so.
What you don’t want to do is just give up on your project at the first sign of trouble. Running out of budget might appear to be an insurmountable problem but if you put your mind to it then you could discover clever ways of getting around it.