Keep your tasks close, and your customer’s tasks even closer
July 18, 2010 | In: Project management
I recently found myself in a situation where project was in deep trouble. Problems were piling over my head, customer wasn’t really sure what he was asking for, requirements were poorly managed, and so on… (a very sad story, I admit). All of this made me focus primarily on my team’s tasks since there were a lot of them and we were closing on a deadline.
At the end, we managed to finish our tasks. But what happened? Having so many problems waiting to be solved by my own team focused my attention to my own backyard, completely forgetting to look over the fence, to my customer’s yard. If I was to do that, I would see a couple of extremely important task not being taken care of by my customer. And precisely those tasks would eventually postpone our go-live date.
It would be easy to blame it on the customer; after all, those tasks were his responsibility. But the damage of postponing go-live date did much more harm to me than to my customer.
The morale of this story: keep your project tasks close, and your customer’s tasks even closer. Just because something is not your responsibility does not mean that it can’t impact you. If you look at this through a PMI lens, this is plain Risk Management. Or lack of it, more precisely.
Don’t be stupid. Do Risk Management. It pays off.