• Question: with a low budget and no help, how can you turn a project around?

    Asked by dalyk to Amit, Emily, Jo, Martin, Paige on 16 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Joanne Davies

      Joanne Davies answered on 16 Mar 2012:


      Yes, with a low (or no) budget and no help, I can turn a bad project into a better one!

      I would do this by going to a company and learning about the way they do everything.
      Then I would put a plan together that suggests better ways to do things, so that they can save time, money and increase Quality and profits.

      I love this question dalyk. I think this is the sort of thing I like doing in my job the best! 🙂

    • Photo: Amit Pujari

      Amit Pujari answered on 16 Mar 2012:


      Hi dalyk,

      I think I can deal with low budget but with no help, I am not sure.
      As you advance in engineering (especially in research- where you are working on the latest, something new, not very well understood) things. Without help or colloboration it is difficult to achieve things on your own. No matter how much experience you have, you will need people’s hand as chances of you getting everything right are pretty slim.

    • Photo: Paige Brown

      Paige Brown answered on 16 Mar 2012:


      Hi dalyk!

      A project can be turned around with very little money if you are creative! Also, you could approach sponsors and talk to them and get them excited enough about your work to fund your project! (This is where the communications and marketing arm of science comes in!!)

    • Photo: Martin Wallace

      Martin Wallace answered on 18 Mar 2012:


      This is sometimes a very difficult thing to do, and you can feel pretty lonely and scary if you are the only person working on the project.
      I would say that the easiest way to approach a problem like this is to work out what things need to be done first, and then do them. Often when a project is failing or doesn’t seem to be doing very well, the reason is that there are lots of little tasks that either haven’t been done or have not quite been finished. Working out what tasks need to be done first – and then dealing with them one at a time – is often the first step in getting a project back on track.

    • Photo: Emily Bullen

      Emily Bullen answered on 19 Mar 2012:


      That’s a tricky one!
      I guess I’d need to ask myself whether there’s a reason why I have no help… is it because what I’m trying to do isn’t worth it and I’m just being stubborn? In which case I should probably stop…
      If it’s just because everyone else is busy and there’s no money available, then there are ways, but it takes a lot of determination. You can try and work more smartly in other areas, to free your time to work on this project. You can try and put a case together explaining why you should have some budget and how it could help. Sometimes you need to get some of the work done to prove your case, and get some support to carry on.

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