Thursday, 2 December 2010

Escalate or procrastinate, anyway... pass the potato

Picture this... you are in a corporate environment and you are concerned about how something is going or if a project is moving quick enough so you escalate.

What happens next.... well it goes up an organisation until eventually gets to someone who can do something about it.
What goes up must come down right ?
What happens next, you go up the management chain, then someone comes back down like a boomerang and asks the same questions you would have asked and now youre micro managing the people who need to get the thing done, they get bitter and twisted and slow down because they think you don't trust them, then they start drinking, put their tools down and go home.
The very thing you were trying to speed up just slowed down.
Who's fault ? for not managing upwardly ?
Ok, I'm exaggerating a little, but not much.
Is there a better way ?  Absolutely.
Look, I'm not saying if things arn't moving you should leave them, but the height of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
The three things to do to accelerate a project are:
1. Discover
Work out what the real problem is, get buy in from the people you are working with, they know whats going on, they're probably just a bit weiry and too close to the problem
2. Coach & Act
Once youve found out what's going on, brainstorm ways to get the best traction, you will be surprised by the result. The person with the problem knows the answer they are just looking for leadership and support.
3. Inform
This old fashioned method doesn't work and is in-effective.(Tell people your problem for support, then they beat you up with it!)
Definitely the professional way is keep people in the loop, give them feedback on whats going on and what you are doing about it, it makes you look good and stops them driving you mad. By the way, If they are driving you mad, that's your fault!
Interested to hear from your experience the best methods you have seen to mange effective escalations and more importantly getting critical stuff done with a sense or urgency.
Make it happen the right way, you deserve it!