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Tomorrow is Another Day

January 21, 2015

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Somedays it just doesn’t pay to be me.

I’m a project manager. But what happens when the project doesn’t go as planned? People react differently when things go badly. How you react to a blown project can either build credibility and lay a foundation for solving the problem, or make the problem worse.

1. Stop

First thing to do when things go bad? Stop. Don’t make a bad decision worse by rushing into a solution.

2. Evaluate your options

What choices do you have? There are always options. Doing nothing is an option. Retrying your previous solution is an option. As a project manager sometimes I get to pick the options. But, more often it’s the engineers who will tell me what my choices are.

3. Pick a solution

After evaluating your choices at some point you have to pick one and go. As a PM, I answer to my stakeholders. I will evaluate the solutions and if the decision is a big one I’ll take it to my stakeholders. They expect me to not only recommend a solution but to identify the benefits and risks of each solution. While I have my preferred solution, ultimately the stakeholders have to believe in the solution. They get to pick.

4. Execute

Finally, act on you solution. Again, as a PM I can run a project, but I need engineers to actually make it work. The hardest part of this step is to wait. It’s tempting to pester the engineers, but if you have done your research properly, the key in step 4 is to let the workers work.

It’s easy when you are in the middle of crisis to run to the first solution that presents itself. The pain in a crisis can be excruciating. All you want is for it to stop. But, if you keep your head, you can turn a crisis, if not into a win, at least into less of a loss.

And remember that as bad as your crisis was, as terrible as today may have been, the sun will come up and tomorrow is another day.

Make it a better one.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

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