Pivoting in a Project: Strategies for adjusting to scope changes

Drupal Camp Asheville 2024 - July 12th-14th

Start Time



Brian Manning and Kelly Dassing

As a Project Manager, Strategist, Developer, Designer, or Stakeholder, we are all part of the puzzle—and it's crucial to keep sight of the big picture—even when we’re required to pivot from the original plan. Pivots come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be a minor change that’s quickly integrated into scope, or a major departure that alters the entire course of the project. When you encounter these shifts, it’s vital you strategize, communicate, and continue to capture the vision of the client so the final product is a solid foundation for your client’s goals and KPIs—not a point of resentment.

Each pivot adds a new element that you have to take into account. If you keep some key points in mind, you will be able to deliver your project on time, within budget, and create a lasting relationship with your client.. In this session, we’ll review the following concepts for managing projects in danger of derailment:

  • Kicking off the project with an organized team and plan of attack

  • Capturing the client's vision

  • Asking the right questions early

  • Communicating with your whole team

    • Strategy

    • Development

    • Design

    • QA

    • Stakeholders (yes, they are part of your team, too!)

  • Avoiding the dreaded “overcommitment”

  • Identifying the Goal and Plan on how to accomplish it

  • Being ready to PIVOT


  • Keeping your team grounded in the delivery

    • Managing team morale and motivation

    • Avoiding burnout and frustration

    • Don’t get caught up in too many meetings

  • Continue CLEARLY communicating with your stakeholders

  • Getting ready to deliver with success!

  • Conducting a retrospective and additional planning—not a postmortem