When the wheels are falling off and everyone is panicking the project trenches suddenly get real crowded as everyone is looking for cover. In my opinion this is the best place to shine. Obviously we are never expecting or planning for our projects to go sideways, but it happens nonetheless. The story is the same, “No thanks, we got it. We don’t need the help…we got it…we got it…oh crap, we’re in trouble and being overrun. Can you come help?”
How to Move Forward
The number one cause in my personal experience as to why IT projects get this way is that folks over think it and allow politics and ambiguity infiltrate the project parameter. The methods I use to push back the infiltrators and recapture the ground lost is to return to the basics. Strip away the noise and get to the root of the project and how information is shared and leveraged to move the project forward.
Key word is “forward” armed with only the tools, methods, and people absolutely required to identify the constraints, elevate them and advance the project. It sounds very simple. The execution is the hard part and the right mindset combined with the right methods make the difference. Inevitably some people get their feelings hurt and feet stepped on. I can only respond with “strap in” because the project trenches are about to get cleared; we are all advancing. The project comes first not your feelings.
A Hate:Love Relationship
At the onset of crisis, you will hate the fact that you need me. While at the project’s conclusion, or at some appropriate point where it gets turned back over to the owners, you’ll love the result, the team, and the method. You will want to duplicate it and adopt the mentality for all projects. A word of warning though, there are tactics to course correct a project in crisis that should not be embedded into peace-time project delivery. Teams cannot sustain operating in a crisis manner as normal operating procedure. There are specific tactics used to migrate from crisis to peace time project delivery that fosters transition to a slow burn while maintaining readiness for any future project crisis.
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