If worse actually came to worst and an external hazard did shut down a project, the team must proceed in a certain way. They should be prepared for this eventuality, because no project manager ever wants task workers to simply stop working and walk away. Proper procedure calls for an orderly and disciplined shutdown, wherein all activities are brought to a point where they can be easily and reasonably resumed in the future. Each task leader, therefore, should be instructed to write a description of the exact point that his or her task has reached at shutdown. Measurements may be needed in this description to create restart conditions. It may be desirable to back off on some processes to reach a good shutdown point. Material and equipment locations also must be planned and documented, and backup procedures must be used.
Different kinds of projects require different emergency shutdown procedures. A project manager must discuss the proper procedures with the project team. Although preparing for shutdown is not generally a long or costly process, it is well worth the effort if a shutdown is ever necessary.
When restarting a project, it is not possible to simply begin where the project left off. Changes will have taken place, requiring adjustments to the original project plan. This delay should not be merely inserted into the Gantt chart; rather, the project manager should reconvene the team and review the Gantt chart construction step and re-examine the task risks. The project plan then should be replanned before the team proceeds to finish it. Some situations may call for paying a second source supplier to stand by to help if something happens to a project's key supplier.