If you feel like you are constantly working, yet not seeing the results you’d expect, maybe it’s time to stop and reflect. Working harder isn’t smarter. If you have to attend a meeting just to “get the right people in the room”, it’s time to reflect. If you attend multiple meetings with the same people each day, it’s time to reflect. If you don’t have your status quo baseline even captured, maybe it’s time to do that. How can you know where the choking points of progress lie, if you don’t know where the precise decision points (stage gates, etc.) even are, and who, specifically is responsible? Who has the authority to decide on what? What are the boundaries of their decision? How do you know when things need to get elevated, or better yet – if it isn’t captured somewhere for reference, how will anyone ELSE know when things need to get elevated, and where to send them?
Sometimes, it pays off in the long run to stop, catch our breath, and reflect. There is always a better, more efficient way. Always. Are you willing to ask others’ their opinion? Not just ask for it, but actually listen to it? Don’t just ask anyone, ask those that have experience and qualifications you trust. Would you ask the janitor to fix your electrical problem? Probably not. Would you ask the electrician to clean your house? The fireman to fix your plumbing? Then why would you ask your Engineer to be your Lead Program Manager (unless they truly know how to run an entire program, schedule, resource loading and all)? Use common sense, and if you don’t have a skills assessment for your organization, perhaps it is time to develop one. This doesn’t mean unqualified, inexperienced people don’t have good ideas – sometimes they have the best ideas! It juts means that you need to be willing to ask the right question, listen and filter the responses appropriately.