It’s the little things.
Working on a relocation project, I am on the receiving end of equipment, inventory, and supplies while relying on others to identify, package, and ship the correct equipment and materials at a location 800 miles away.
First shipment included the shipping station equipment and we received all but a shipping scale, which was shipped separately and received a few days after IT set up the shipping station in its new home. When I received and unpacked the scale, it was missing the power supply. One data cable, one display cable, and no power supply.
A cheap wall wart power supply.
When managing a fast-paced recovery or turnaround project, we start with a broad scope and fill in the details as we dig in and have the conversations and ask the detailed questions. We miss things. Shit goes sideways. But the name of the game is fast recovery. In this case, I simply went to eBay and ordered the 10 buck power supply rather than spend any more time thinking about it.
While in project management training, we learn all the tools and techniques for properly managing projects. If you’re a certified PMP as I am, you learn the PMBOK, the structure behind successful project management.
That’s all well and good but when in recovery mode to save a business in 3 months, I don’t go to the book. Not even once. It’s all hands on deck and we keep drilling down every day. As a project leader in turnaround situations I recognize what is at stake and the deal is we just need to get it done. And when the shit hits the fan, we move quickly to identify and implement a solution.
There are damaged customer relationships. There are lost sales. There is broken or missing equipment. There are some things that will not soon be recovered but many that will be. That is the goal. Hockey games are not usually pretty but you have to play hard and fast to save and win the game.
This is not to say there is disorganization. On the contrary, it is well organized. It just happens in such a compressed time frame with a lot of players who find themselves thrown into the fray. Once everyone understands the mission and the need, most get on board and make it happen. Some require a bit of hand holding as they find themselves suddenly out of their comfort zone.
But we get it done. And once we get the big pieces into place, with big improvements made along the way, the team gets to polish it up after we start settling into the new current state.
I don’t often get to do much polishing. Once the big things are in place, I leave it to the experts to polish. I move on to the next project. My next hockey game.
Did you remember to ship the power supply?