Help! My Project Is in Quicksand

What do you do when your project is put on the shelf?

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Andrew G.R.
What happens when a project drags on and on and on? I'm not talking days, weeks, or even months. I mean years.

That's what has unfolded at my current gig, where a major project that I am ultimately responsible for is constantly put up on the shelf. Oh, there's plenty of talk about it. Just no action.

Stalled. Stagnated. Stopped. These 'S' words suddenly sound uglier than the 'F' bomb.

Sometimes I feel like I'm on a reality show. They must be laughing their butts off on the other side of the glass. It's like a never-ending filibuster that retards all progress. I can hear one of the producers now: "What's wrong with this guy? When is he just gonna get up and leave!?"

And then there's my staff.

They are frustrated, too, and rightfully so. I've run out of answers. I'm game to fight the good fight, but nothing I have done can get the project on the fast track. Heck, any track!

Budget has been approved. Extensive research conducted. And a dozen suits smile, proclaiming how badly they want to 'get it done.'

"We understand you must be frustrated, Andrew."

Ya think?!

How are any of us supposed to get amped up to tackle this major project when it's finally released from the holding pen? Are we doomed from the start? It sure feels like we're already burnt out.

We've all heard the story of the bridge being built; it gets stopped halfway because of budget cutbacks or bureaucratic red tape. At least in this case there's a physical reminder that will eventually get citizens so angry that the project's originators—or inheritors—are forced to finish it up.

When you work in an office, sometimes there is no bridge—no visual to get people angered. Lack of progress doesn't always have a face. And if it does, I don't want it to be mine!

So, dear readers, I need your help. What does one do when a project gets put on hold for years? Any tactics you've successfully employed to help move a project along?

After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouraged—not only about his own career but about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.


Attention all résumé writers: Blogger Andrew G. R. is now holding the Jobacle Résumé Challenge. Rewrite G. R.'s résumé and get a shot at stardom. If you win you'll get a few prizes—including promotion in a three-month banner posted on