The Best Defense is a Good Offense?
A current client of mine has a number of projects making up a program, and many of those projects are sequential in nature--the output of one project becomes the inputs to the next project. That obviously creates a lot of dependencies between the different initiatives, and if there are problems or delays that can lead to friction. Recently, a couple of those projects have experienced some challenges--the downstream project has not been able to process their work using the upstream project’s deliverables, and that’s starting to produce some significant tension.
The two projects are pointing fingers at one another, accusing the other side of not doing their job properly--and the issues have escalated from project team members to project managers. While the relationships between the two teams are still just about cordial, it is clear that things are getting worse. I was asked to step in before things got out of hand, try to repair the damage and solve the underlying problems. In this article, I want to look at some of the causes of what is a fairly common problem, and how to address it.
Protection over solution
The fundamental issue here has nothing to do with the particular problem that these projects are facing--that’s just the catalyst for what is happening. The program is high visibility and high pressure, and there is a perception that the whole
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