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Research by the IT research advisory firm Standish Group shows less than a third of all projects are completed on time and on budget. Unfortunately, many projects can be delayed, but sometimes projects aren’t just delayed – they are in a state of disarray.  The term distressed project refers to a project that has exhibited a performance trend that will fail without intervention. Generally, a distressed project refers to a project that is 20%> off its cost and schedule targets. Distressed projects often occur when a team has financial or staffing issues. Distressed projects also happen when a project is affected by external factors like a recession or political conflict.

What is a Distressed Project? 

Here are some of the signs of a distressed project:

  • Missed deadlines
  • Missing deliverables 
  • Poor team  and stakeholder communication
  • Poor budget or scope management

How to Assess and Revive a Distressed Project 

When a project becomes distressed, it is nearly impossible to make tough decisions, especially if you are emotionally or financially invested in the project. While every distressed project has unique challenges and characteristics, there are proven techniques teams can implement to improve their project management operations. 

Over the years, has helped global brands build project management operations and implement risk mitigation. We are experts in improving project management systems so projects can run smoothly and deliver against their objectives. Here's how the team at can help you improve your firm's project management operations.

Firstly, the team will meet with senior management (CEO, President, Director PMO), and project stakeholders to discuss the current status of the project(s) or portfolio of work. Next, the team conducts stakeholder interviews to document the current team composition, process, workflows, PMO tooling, roadmaps and business goals. After we conduct stakeholder interviews, we synthesize the data, identify insights and then we assess the PMO maturity based on standard pmo models and our experience as PMO leaders. “The PMO maturity model helps us measure and benchmark the PMO, allows us to uncover areas for improvement, and set up a. plan forward to stabilize delivery operations while looking at how we can evolve the PMO and. the. process + effort needed to reach and measure that evolution,” says Thalia Oritiz, VP, Professional Services at Research by the global research and advisory firm Gartner reveals 80% of PMOs are at level 1 or 2 on the Project Portfolio Management Maturity Model PPM.

Lastly, in the third phase of the project management process, we develop a vision to take the delivery operations and the PMO to the next level by outlining tangible and practical recommendations tailored to the clients business and goals.

Leveraging High-Impact Technology and Tools

Research shows that leveraging digital Project Management software improves project efficiency. The global consultancy firm PWC found 77% of high-performing teams use project management software. However, despite the many benefits of PM software, several companies are failing to implement them.

As leaders in the technology industry, we have seen clients achieve tremendous results by using PM software to plan and execute projects. While we are technology agnostic and can help you make the most out of your existing software, here are some excellent PM programs to consider:

  • JIRA: Plan, prioritize and track tasks during the implementation phase.
  • CONFLUENCE: Create and store project and product documentation.
  • SLACK: Communication tool for ongoing communication outside of regularly scheduled meetings.
  • AHA: Create product roadmap and prioritize features and functionality.
  • SMARTSHEET: Create project plan and gantt to track and monitor project timeline, milestones, deliverables and dependencies. came in to assess the state of the state: we addressed pressing needs and low hanging fruit, and put in place a process and operations that were sustainable and predictable for delivery and provided visibility to stakeholders.


  • Implemented new processes for software delivery, communication, project tracking and vendor management
  • Identified risks and dependencies for which we created and managed mitigation strategies 
  • Provided executives & stakeholders with visibility to the progress of all delivery tracks
  • Managed workflows against project plan for execution and tracking
  • Improved internal communication between team members
  • Improved external communication with vendors 

In addition, we implanted a dedicated team member on-site to support leading new project management initiatives.

Results: As a result of the new processes, we helped the league successfully launch over 30 new club sites on time. The firm commended for helping to create greater internal transparency and stronger team communications.

How iX Can Help You Optimize Your PMO

Are you struggling with a distressed project?  We can help you to deliver the following outcomes: 

  • An insights report on the state of your firm's PMO
  • A detailed report on short and long-term opportunities for improvement
  • Recommendations on an optimal team structure, including details such as:
    • Team structure outline
    • Job descriptions 
    •  Roles and responsibilities 
  • A detailed plan for your firm to implement 

At, our areas of expertise include:

  • PMO Development
  • Platform Selection
  • Change Management
  • Risk Management
  • Digital Audit
  • Tech Audit