Look at this picture what do you see?
How many different coloured spirals? Make a note of that and read on.
I would like to associate that spiral picture to a common theme I have observed when it comes to decision making or even managing a project, I asked you, what seemed on the face of it a simple question, with no consequence. What if there was something riding on that response, a vendor contract, £1m project, a must hit milestone date. Would your answer still be the same?
I routinely attend meetings both organisational and project status related, more often than not decisions are made in those meetings from high level discussions, but you can often wonder how informed of the situation were the people making the decisions was the issue given enough attention? As a critical thinker (and Skeptic) I like my position on topics to be based on reasoning and logic. I am happy to alter my position, if my original premise was flawed. But often as a project manager you are pressured by a stakeholder to make a particular decision or our action before all the facts are in. What doesn’t help is that a lot of people either through lack of knowledge in that area or not aware of the size of the problem will often say “Lets keep this high level” or “ Lets not get bogged down in details”. Well there is an expression that comes to mind ‘The devil is in the detail’, as a PM there are times when you do need to look at the detail, you do need to spend more than 15 mins on a topic before moving on, you do need to stand your ground and speak up, be that lone voice in the crowd….why because you are ultimately accountable for the project and you will find that those people that wanted to move on quickly to the next topic will now be saying “How could you let this happen?” or “Why did you let this happen?”. Welcome to project management!
So back to the original question, How many spirals did you count? 3 colours? Green, pinkish orange and blue?
Ok, what would you say if I told you that there are actually only 2 spiral colours? Well it is true! The green spiral and blue spiral are the same colour. Luckily there was no consequence…….this time!