Months into the project the tracts I was working on managing were lagging behind. My inexperience, cultural barriers, technical challenges, and resources all contributed to a series of delays. No one on the team had any issue with the way I’d been handling things because I kept them in the loop and help set proper expectations.
There was a great deal of anxiety about the delayed deliverables since so much was depending on them. A meeting was called for lunch in a company that treats lunch time as a sacred break to give their employees time to refresh and we started breaking out the details on my deliverables. A lot was done, but without the complete set of work the dependent tasks could not be performed and tested.
A passionate meeting ensued. The whiteboard basically looked like it had graffiti on it. Tables were drawn. Dates were discussed and debated. People were using their outside voice inside to make sure they were heard. At the end of it the Product Owner pulled the leadership team aside and recommended that the primary PM own my effort and serve as the single point of contact.
By the time I got to the cafeteria my boss, who had scheduled the meeting, asked me how I was feeling about it.
I told him that I wasn’t offended at all. We’d reached the point where the delay on my workstreams were impacting the overall project and that the primary PM needed to be intimately aware of what was going on so he could find opportunities to move his dependent steps forward as it becomes possible to do so. I’m still managing, but now I’m feeding that PM my information at every update instead of just our normal cadence during the week.
I’m not sure how things would have changed if pride were a part of the equation, but I don’t imagine it would have made things any easier. I think it was better to spend the time to focus on the work at hand and not on placating someone’s hurt pride.