- Get all the facts before you act – why are the resources not there? Who approved the change? When will they be free? Try and negotiate a solution with the person responsible for the hit. Be forceful, but open to a solution that benefits both parties.
- Fully understand the consequences of this hit including the potential financial impact?
- Review your contingency plan with the appropriate project team members.
- Revisit your project plan…is there any float that you can use?
- Go right to your project sponsor – make them aware of the situation and its consequences.
- Do damage control with your project team…do not let them stop what they are doing or you might face further delays. Explain what is happening and why; they will respect the transparency that you provide.
- Activate and implement your project contingency plan.
- Closely track any added expenses and the time which is spent on the new actions that you take.
- Document and provide through your communications plan, the situation, impact, costs and actions the team will take.
Ultimately, how you behave after the punch plays a key role in how your project team reacts. You must recover fast, determine the impacts and alternatives to the project, and move forward aggressively. If you are stunned and too slow to understand and address the situation valuable time will be lost and your project may lose momentum while waiting for you to recover.
Most projects run into some type of problems which impacts the deliverables. The best project managers are experts at foreseeing the problems and building contingencies. Also, they are nimble enough to make adjustments on the-fly that help to keep their projects on-track. Don’t lose your head – prepare, analyze, adjust, and watch out for those upper-cuts.
“Let man be wise by instinct if he can, but when this fails be wise by good advise” ~ Sophocles.