How to Handle a Failed Web Project
Strategy Web Development

How to Handle a Failed Web Project

By Mainak Biswas March 09, 2015 - 825 views

Most of the times, web development projects succeed and they match the clients’ expectations. When they do not match the clients’ expectations, we can usually make the changes that are required. However, there are certain smaller companies who probably do not have necessary resources or experience to deal with web development failures.

When a project fails, it is not the end of the world. There are a number of reasons why a project could fail. It could be because you did not understand what the client wanted from the beginning or it could be because your client is just too difficult and simply does not understand what is a good website & what is not.

No matter what the case is, even the best among us end up having a few failed projects in our list that we rather not talk about. Yet, we need to. Failure isn’t something that we need to be wary about. Instead, we need to learn from our failures, try to undo the damage and if possible, seek another chance. In this article, let us take a look at how we can deal with failures without feeling terrible.

1. Accept that you are not perfect

Most of the time, web designers and developers have this unfailing confidence, which makes it difficult for them to admit that they can make mistakes & that they are not infallible. By admitting that we are not perfect and that projects can fail, we will be in a better position to actually handle the project. When the sense of invincibility is gone, we will be more humble and amenable to suggestions & criticisms.

2. Communicate with your client

When you realize that a project is headed for disaster, speak to the client. Do not be dishonest and give them false hopes. Also, communicate the fact that the project is headed towards failure in the most succinct manner possible. It is not necessary to beat around the bush. Politely, firmly and honestly communicate what really has been happening & where things are going wrong. Sometimes, a client can actually see a doomed project by suggesting changes or even giving ideas.

3. Give up when you cannot continue

There are other times when we desperately cling to projects even when we know they are destined to be a failure. This sort of thinking, usually, hampers not only our professional success but also the way we decide to do things. Projects need to be handled with tenacity and we should not give up until it is a hopeless case; and sometimes, we continue to cling to projects even when they are hopeless cases. This is where the problem arises. If you realize that there is no way in which you can save a project, just give it up.

4. Speak to a lawyer

Always speak to a lawyer about how you need to refund and what you had agreed upon in the contract. If the fault was yours, you need to ethically go a step forward and admit this to your lawyer as well as your client. There are other times when it was not really your fault and yet, the project will fail. In such a case, you might want to know where you stand legally. As we live in a very litigious society, it is better to be prepared and know where we stand.

5. Accept responsibility

This is one of the most difficult things to do. When it is your fault, just admit it. Accept that it is your fault and you have to bear the consequences. When you admit that you made mistakes during the project cycle, you will be in a better position to offer compensation or whatever you choose is the right thing. By communicating the true status of your problem, you will be able to gain respect and probably even get an extension for a new project.

Parting on good terms

Try to avoid litigious situations and solve the matter without letting it get escalated. If you are even slightly at fault, accept your responsibility and try to retain the client. Unless you are being unfairly targeted or you are being threatened unreasonably, there is no explanation or support for going to the court. Always part in good terms and make sure that you are consulting a good PR team to ensure that this doesn’t affect your business.


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