I’ve always been fascinated by those crazy large domino puzzles. Here is the Guinness World Record – Largest Domino 3D Pyramid (as of July 2012). The first 30 seconds shows an early version that collapsed before they could finish construction. Ouch!
Our projects have a similar complexity… because our dominoes always start falling before we have finished setting all the pieces! You know how it feels – a delivery date has been set and we don’t know all the tasks yet. How do we stay ahead when the pieces are falling down around us?
- Don’t panic. I heard a great quote today when a project manager said “I won’t allow myself to give in to the fear.” Her courage and determination helped me focus on the next falling domino. Our attitude shapes the attitude of everyone else on the team.
- Look past the next falling domino. As project managers, we must focus farther down the project path than the domino (task) that sits in front of us. It’s hard, because the urgent tasks of today are demanding our attention. However, our greatest contribution to the project is our ability to look ahead and make sure the dominoes are prepared and ready for tomorrow.
- Trust your team. When the project pieces start falling, there isn’t enough of me to go around. I can’t save every task. I can’t be involved in every play. I have to trust my teammates to make good decisions and catch what I miss. Even if they don’t lead the same way I would, I know they will move the team forward.
Thanks for listening.