As I look at what I do most of the day, the hat that I wear the most is project management. I have found three ways that I can really muddy up a project, but are also so easy to fall into.
1. Defective Delegation.
Delegation is the key to a great project and is the only way to succesfully manage the size and sheer number of projects that come through my flow. However defective delegation is something I fall into easy and can kill a projects effectiveness and momentum.
Our delegation is defective when:
- We try and give away the responsibility but don’t give the resources (information, time, vision) needed to allow the person given the responsibility to succeed.
- We try and avoid communication rather than over-communicating. I find myself often doing this by communicating only through e-mail (bad idea) and not communicating often enough. If a project is something that is essential to the success of the organization it’s worth face-to-face time and it’s also worth several communication touches a day.
- We delegate things that only we can do and don’t delegate things that anyone can do.
2. Don’t inspect what you expect.
This one has flat out been my achillie’s heal in the past to be quite frank. This principle has been something I have been putting into practice a lot in the last 3 months or so and has been a great tool in helping my team meet expectations. When we crouch the animal of lack of leadership in the gown of “I trust my team” it still makes for a ugly animal in a dress.
3. Don’t ask questions.
If you want to really kill a project – dont ask questions. Just trust that everyone is thinking everything that you are and that they have the same level of vision for the project that you do as the leader. Never ask for more than what is presented, never ask, “why are we doing that”, or “Can we do it another way” or “are we on task to meet a deadline”.
There are 3 ways to kill a project and many a project’s death has been at my hands. Learn from my dumb tax.