“It’s very easy to give advice, it doesn’t cost you anything” they say.
And if you receive them, especially unsolicited, you tend to reject them at first, even if some of them would actually help you. So, to avoid falling into that particular trap, I prefer to tell stories. Like the one below.
I have in my portfolio a category called Accelerators, services designed to help my clients work better in projects, with an accelerated change adoption.
And one of the biggest challenges I face almost every time is to convince everyone involved that initiating projects and planning them is not about tools, it’s not about methodology, it’s not about bureaucracy, it’s not about what the manager or the client wants and it’s not even about schedules or deadlines. Actually, it’s a bit about that too but, for the sake of the argument, let’s leave it like that.
Initiating projects is, first of all, about facilitating gaining the clarity needed between the Sponsor and/or client and the team. About understanding what we have to do and why. Only after we clarified what and why, we can answer, as a team, to the question: HOW do we do this.
The time presumably “lost” in initiation and planning is about gaining clarity, not about a “damned” plan that will change multiple times by the end of the project. And it’s time well spent for at least two reasons:
It’s possible that the sponsor or the client has the best intentions and a wonderful project, but is not particularly proficient in explaining what he wants
A team that does not understand what and why has all the chances to become demotivated.
So, word of advice (I can’t resist, apparently 😊): Offer your team the gift of clarity! Especially when you plan in the presence of uncertainty!