You are on the horns of a dilemma – you are at the start of a tricky project and are trying to work out what you need to do and how the hell you are going to achieve it. First impressions count and its important to make a strong start and inspire confidence in all connected with the project. This project could make or break you!
So what do you do? Consider the following choices… do you:
- Go to ground with a small team of experts to work out what to do…surfacing when you have answers to the key questions that will inevitably arrive (appearing clueless is not a flattering look!)
- Talk to people who have either something to gain or lose from the result of the project (but risk being attacked for not having the answers and having a half baked solution)
- Book a long vacation, some where far and remote with no phone coverage and hope by the time you return the project has been cancelled (and say to your colleagues you knew the project was doomed from the start)
Whilst considering where to place your bet... consider the following: From our research and experience at Pentacle, we know that only 1 in 4 projects successfully deliver their anticipated benefits. These aren't great odds! This is a result of the New World, where the fast paced environment we now find ourselves in, (World after Midnight) where knowledge has a short shelf life and reliance on expert views, based on past events, are not a good indicator of what to do with our unique problems now our in the future. Option A is not looking too promising!
Option C sounds great…but how likely is this to happen?... and even if it did, you’d need to be extremely lucky with your timing... a bit like spinning the roulette wheel and placing everything on “22 Black”.
In the New World, “stakeholders rule ok”, and they are an essential part in deciding what it is we need to do and how we need to go about it. Engaging them at that start gets their buy-in and makes it easy for them to place a stake on you to succeed in the risky business of project delivery. All those that opted for Option B collect your winnings from the front of house! Early engagement (now!) goes some way to allowing project managers to avoid the lottery of successful project management delivery.