How to steer your project into a ditch…every damn time.
While you may think you’re being a good leader by giving everybody a voice, what you’re really doing is embarking on a design-by-committee suicide mission.
Bad move #1
Solicit opinions of anybody around the office that could possibly have something at stake (and give ’em an equal amount of say-so).
Of course it’s important to consider how the project will impact customer service, your IT department, manufacturing team and sales force. But not everyone’s feedback deserves equal weight – especially when ten people will give you twelve different opinions. LESSON #1: There’s a place for democracy and projects aren’t it.
Bad move #2
Ask unqualified people “what they think.” Few things can guarantee complete project chaos (and inevitable failure) quite like running ideas by your plumber. Or the kid’s babysitter. And don’t forget to find out what your brother-in-law thinks! LESSON #2: Seeking “man on the street” opinions will quickly steer you off the street and right into the ditch.
Bad move #3
Be unwilling to assume responsibility or make decisions. Don’t set the project’s vision or be willing to accept any risk. Decide nothing, and make sure you never venture outside the100% safe zone (or even think of coloring outside the lines). LESSON #3: Playing it safe – and making sure everyone is “happy”– is your express ticket to Mediocre-ville.
Really bad move #4
Refuse to learn from others’ mistakes. There’s nothing quite like kicking off a big project when you really don’t know which end is up. You should “throw a bunch of stuff at the wall all at once to see what sticks,” since that’s a time-tested recipe for certain failure, guaranteed to drain resources and waste precious time. Make sure you never admit you don’t know everything about project management and be unwilling to do any research into how good project management is done (by folks who actually DO it). LESSON #4: Nobody’s perfect and there’s a lot to be learned from failure (yours, others and even ours).
Learn how – and why – TFG failed. And how we pulled ourselves from the brink of that ditch onto the right track.