In my previous post, I touched on a few differences between “urgency” and “emergency” with project management. Project that are in a state of emergency are dangerous and can have long-term effects. Here are five negatives that can likely result when managing projects with this style:
- Bridges are burned. Emergency projects and tasks often alienate team members and critical project resources. Team members are asked to meet ridiculous deadlines for tasks. The “solutions” are given to those executing tasks and usually band-aids at best.
- Critical thinking and innovation are stifled and discouraged. Team members become disenfranchised and begin to offer fewer and fewer ideas. The mood of the team turns somber and passive.
- More bricks are put into the “walls” of the organization. It’s tough to build a cohesive, cross-functional approach to project management. Many organizations have natural walls or ties that align with functional reporting structures. A mission of good project management is to cross these barriers. Projects in a state of emergency do just the opposite. The walls turn into fortresses. Various functional groups begin finger-pointing and assigning blame to other functions.
- The project is elevated to a pedestal only for others to knock it down. Projects in a state of emergency often get the attention of many people throughout all levels of the organization. Team members and by-standers are all waiting for that moment when they can say “I told you so!” Every action will be placed under a microscope by management.
- Luck is chosen over being prepared. Plans are usually afterthoughts and viewed as a deterrent to progress.