What Not To Do When Crunch Time Hits

Strategic projects have many parallels to the NFL playoffs, and the Super Bowl represents as can’t-fail a project as most Project Management Professionals will find. You’ve already prepared your checklists, best practices, and successful time-tested methodologies. Now here are a few things you should not do when taking on a high-profile, high-stakes project.

Let the odds get you down. Some around you may express doubts about your Project Team’s ability to execute a critical or strategic project successfully, even as they offer positive feedback about your handling of routine projects in the past. Be buoyed by the skills and expertise your team possesses as you focus on tackling the challenges of your new project.

Suffer from overconfidence. Your success in the regular season brought you here, but you can’t just keep doing what you’re doing. The financial and business consequences of failure in a strategic project could be severe. Past successes give you a good starting point, and now your team must marshal its talents and remain focused on overcoming every new obstacle this new project will present.

Leave planning to the last minute. If a strategic project has a longer run-up that usual, it can be easy to wait and stick to a more normal planning schedule. Big mistake. Instead, follow the lead of the AFC and NFC champs, who will seize on every available moment to examine the challenges ahead of them and develop a game plan that’s up to the task.

Have a public meltdown. Stress levels may be rising, but don’t let it get to you. Ecstatic about the opportunity to manage a high-visibility project? Terrified of failure? Just plain old overwhelmed? Those are all valid feelings. Take a few minutes to deal with them in private so you can continue to be a good ambassador for your Project Team.

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