D is for… Damage Limitation

Let’s face it, even if you are a good guy and you put all the best-practice you learn from this guide into your life, things are going to go wrong sometime. Of course this is 99% likely to have been caused by external influences, because of course everything under your control will be, well… under control.

This is where knowing what you are doing comes into play. You will of course have seen it coming, your awareness of all the information available to you will have primed you. The earlier you see it coming, the more time you have to formulate your plan of action to turn the ‘problem’ into an opportunity for the benefit of your project.

The key is to be as up-front with the problem and your proposed solution (don’t forget that bit) as it is sensible to do, and to the right people, at the right time. No point in telling your Financial Director that your project needs an extra $500k, because someone forgot you might have to pay for software licenses, on a Friday afternoon, in the middle of his month-end reporting. He is likely to and, in fact legally entitled to rip-you-a-new-one before you even get to the end of the sentence.

You need to be all over the problem as soon as you see it coming, and find ways to limit the pain that is likely to be coming down the line. Consider carefully your options, and the rest of this guide will give you plenty of ideas; Can you change control it? Can you do it another way? Can you sell it as a better way to do it? Can you call in favours? Can you get someone else to carry the can? The more experience you have, the more creative you will get.

Sometimes it’s better to hold your hand up early and take your lumps then, than wait till the issue reaches its full magnitude and get a bigger kicking then. After all, it’s hard to be hung twice for the same thing.

Categorized as D

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