Beliefs can be a tricky thing! Especially when you are thinking big! I remember the time when leading an IT project (a long time ago!) failed to see the difficulties it presented in its implementation. The problem was that I had depended too much on the word of our subcontractors to deliver on time a component (vital for the implementation of the project)! And they never do it!
The Why Clause!
I had over-estimated the capabilities of our sub-contractors and of the developing team in total to deliver on time the vital (intermediate) components that would comprise the designed service! The project was finished, of course, on time, by changing subcontractors and drawing more resources in tasks should have never taken the amount of time and resources actually take!
It was a serious fault on my behalf because I was responsible for the direction and the implementation of the project and I failed to realize the “true potential” of our subcontractors! Of course, they fail to meet the expectations bestow on them because they had the belief that their people would, somehow, pull it off and they would be on time according to the specifications!
Blame It On The Reality
Their belief was in total mismatch to the reality of what they could or couldn’t do (in business terms) in relation to the project. As I learn later, this particular company rely heavily on the talents and capabilities of two ingenious programmers for delivering the bulk of the allocated mid-products! The problems that they failed to recognize was that these particular two programmers have already assigned to a different project and could not offer more time and effort to this one! The rest of the development team was not so competent to deliver the required outputs without the work (and presence) of these two!
The company, certainly, had not the intention to stall my project! Its executives move under the auspices of a very widespread practice in business dictates that the vital company resources should be shared and allocated to the high paid company projects to maximize the output! The problem with this practice (belief) is, that almost never works as it is stated or intended! If you make someone divide his/her working time between 2 (or more) high priorities, soon he/she would fail in serving effectively either one!
When this is the case you should always ask the person you want to use in more than projects if he/she can accommodate the extra tasks derived from his/her assignment to a different project. If not, it is always wise from a corporate point of view to refuse the project.
This attitude can cost you some money, but, usually, (and in the long run) saves your company by many problems, troubles, and credibility lost!
Why You Need A Better Grip
This is the reason you need a better grip on reality. You need always to ponder the real facts of a situation with your beliefs against the reality you want to handle! The problem is that most of the times, in your work, you are on “automatic pilot”! Most of the times you do not think the uniqueness of a situation and handle it in the same way you have handled maybe 100 more the same cases!
The operand word, here is the word “alike“! Alike is not the same as “similar“. And, for this reason, you have no right to handle it as an “ordinary thing“! In every case, you should give some thought on what you have to do (how you can more effectively don what have to be done) and do it, keeping a keen eye on the specifics of the situation. In short, you need to:
- assume ownership and responsibility for the outcomes of the situation!
- check and review the situation you have to handle (you can even use an OODA loop if you think that this can help you!)
- check the available resources needed for the management of the situation! Especially when you are a project manager and you assigned company resources. You should be sure that the people and the resources assigned to the implementation of a process are appropriate, suitable for the tasks to be performed, and available from a time and effort point of view! If you need to over-allocate a person in a project (even though I do not believe in over-allocation, especially in business environments), you should always ask him/her. If he/she are not available (in every respect!), you better find an alternative solution
- Assemble your working team (having reviewed the 1 + 2 conditions), assign the implementation of the tasks required to the corresponding persons!
- Allocated all the required resources for the completion of the project!
- Manage the project/event/situation (or assign the management to another team member or delegate it), review its implementation and do all the corrective action you think they might be needed for a successful output!
These steps can assist you to keep a better grip on reality! Both in business and in personal life!
Question: Do you have a good grip on reality? Do you think you can do effectively a reality check? You are welcome to share your thoughts and ideas on “Why you need a better grip”!