I love watching NFL football….but I have a confession. More often than I care to admit, I loose track of the ball during the play. The player that I have my eye’s on (the one who I think has the ball) has often handed the football to someone else. It’s only after I notice the big pile of players elsewhere on the field that I realize I failed to keep track of the ball.
Here is where many projects fail: In the hand-off between players.
As Project Managers, we can become so focused on the work (and who is doing what) that we loose track of the work FLOW. The hand-off is just as important as the work itself. If I need a new transmission…if Bob is building it and Tom is installing it…then how does the hand-off between them take place?
- Does Bob deliver the transmission directly to Tom? Does Bob deliver the transmission to a warehouse? Or to a workshop? Or does he mail it? If he mails it, is the “Bill to” address different from the “Ship to” address?
- Or, is it Tom’s responsibility to come get the transmission from Bob?
- What is needed during the transport process to protect the part from damage? Should I carry insurance on this transmission?
- What if the hand-off fails to occur? What is the risk?
- When a change in plans occurs, does Bob call me or does he call Tom?
- When the hand-off fails to occur, does Tom call Bob or does he call me?
Whenever confusion occurs in a project, it is usually because everyone failed to anticipate the complexity of the hand-off process. We can’t stop planning once we confirm that Bob is building and Tom is installing. We have to make sure they have a smooth hand-off.
Thanks for listening.