U is for… Unavoidable

You may find yourself in the situation where something bad is going to happen and it appears to be unavoidable.

You need to do two things:

  1. Check that it is indeed unavoidable. Don’t take other people’s word for it, it’s your project; make sure there’s nothing you can do.
  2. Go through your available options. You do have options, you just need to decide which ones you want to consider and which to rule out.

Just because the dictionary definition of Unavoidable says, “Impossible to avoid or evade”, doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Given it’s going to happen, you should probably try to make the best of it.

So, can you perhaps;

  • Include some other bad news with this event, in a clever, 2-for-1 deal? No point in being hit twice when once will do now, is there?
  • Descope what you were originally trying to deliver to exclude some tricky stuff. And maybe pick those up as part of a new project/budget later.
  • Slip your project on the back of this bad news. It may have been close to slipping anyway, so grab yourself some leeway.
  • Get some more budget? You may have been short already and this issue will probably have wasted some of your budget.
  • Get some more (or better) people on your team. With better people you stand a better chance of delivering.

You’re looking for a way to turn a short-term negative into a mid- to long-term positive. Be creative!

In summary, batten down the hatches to ride out the storm and adopt a damage limitation strategy.

Finally, make sure you don’t get yourself into that position again.

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