When it hits the fan

When you suddenly see that a project is going off the rails realise this:

  • It’s your fault, and it’s also everyone else’s. You need to make sure you’re doing your bit right, but the project leader needs to make sure of this too. If no one wants to take the lead, you take it.
  • Don’t get mad, get even. By which I mean, make sure everyone comes out of it ok. Don’t forget, you have to work with these people in future. It’s not ER, it’s PR. No one’s going to die.
  • Up your workrate. So you have a 100% workload? Think again. Now it’s 200%, so you just come in earlier and go home later.
  • Don’t panic. This time next week you’ll be onto something else entirely. In a month you’ll have forgotten all about it, apart from…
  • … the bits you remember. Learn from it. Next time make sure you, and everyone else around you, understands exactly what’s required – even if this means accepting that some parts of the project aren’t necessarily well worked out from the beginning. Sometimes you just have to work within rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.

Never forget, failure is not an option. And if it is, make sure everyone knows you did your damnedest to avoid it.

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