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Doing The Impossible Isn’t As Hard As Convincing Others You Can

June 11, 2019

I have twelve weeks to bring up a call center in Alabama. That’s a really tight timeframe. It’s nearly the shortest I’ve ever had to meet.

There are lots of pieces that go into bringing up a call center. You have to involve about a dozen different teams. You need contractors. You need furniture guys. You need painters, carpet layers, desktop engineers, network engineers. You need architects, and project managers. You have to involve the client’s teams. You have to involve recruiting and training and operations and IT and account management. Every team has it’s own deadlines and schedules.

It’s a major undertaking. And it normally takes about four or five months. You can do it in less time, but not easily. And the shorter you cut the schedule the greater the risk.

All development is a triangle.

Schedule – Budget – Features

You can change any two. With our call center we want to hold the schedule sacrosanct. That means one or two things have to happen. We either need to increase the budget (pay overtime, expedited delivery, etc.) or we need to decrease features (fewer seats, less polished finishing) or both.

But at some point, no amount of money will produce a workable solution in too short a time frame.

One woman can produce a baby in 9 months, but nine women cannot produce a baby in one month.

People are often surprised at what they can accomplish. My team is exceptionally good at what they do. We’ve pulled off the impossible before. But, knowing you have a “Mission Impossible” team and convincing other people you have a “Mission Impossible” team is a different thing.

And you know what you never see in those Mission Impossible movies? You never see the team trying to convince people that they can actually accomplish what they say they can.

Every time I start on one of these impossible journeys I have to spend a lot of time convincing new members of our team that I’m not crazy and despite my Mission Impossible analogy, the task is not actually impossible.

But, how do you prove you can do the impossible, until that is, you actually do the impossible? You can’t. Instead you talk about “We’ve done this before.” You tell people, “we can make it work.” You look for every scrap of schedule you can squeeze.

And you continue to believe in yourself and in your team. And you surprise the people who’ve never seen the impossible accomplished.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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