Turnaround Projects – The Groundhog Day Effect

Turnaround projects are a major part of our business. We refer to a common theme we see in these projects as the Groundhog Day Effect. The plot in the movie Groundhog Day has Bill Murray’s character reliving the same day over and over. In the case of turnaround projects, the effect is “we are almost there, we will be done at the end of the week.” Several months later, the same story is being repeated. These are clearly frustrating situations for everyone involved. Our job has been to break that cycle and push the project across the finish line.

How do we do that? It takes two parties to make that happen. The hard part is to break the belief that it will be done shortly and understanding there are most likely fundamental issues that need addressing – whether that is in technology, resources, or commitment. That means stopping, regrouping and developing an achievable plan. In these cases, our job is to understand why the project is “stuck” and to develop a game plan for getting it unstuck and moving forward again. We have done this many times and are very confident we can make it happen. Nothing is more important than getting finished and creating a success. The only way to do that is to first realize you are in the Groundhog Day Effect.

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