By Alison Smith
It is almost a certainty that at some point along the lifecycle of your project something unusual will arise. It may be small, large or even fatal, but who do you look to, to resolve the situation? Where should you look for answers?
In some projects there may well be the desire to get outside help first from either consultants or trouble shooters, but is this the best way forward? They may have a wide range of experience of your type of project issue, and give an objective opinion as to how best to resolve it; but do they have the inside track on how your organisation ticks? Will they really be like a superhero flying in to resolve the issue?Instead I would suggest that there is a wealth of untapped experience within the project team that could, and should be put to work on solving the problem. By doing this there is no need to explain your procedures and method of working, you can get to work in finding a solution.
It is true that there is the caveat of lack of objectivity, or going down predetermined organisation routes to try and find the solution, but this is far outweighed by the on point knowledge, and internal experience that will help solve that problem more speedily. It will also not cost the consultancy fees to find a way forward, and you are further developing internal capacity, skills, and expertise.
The only downside to using internal experts may be that they are organisationally blinkered – only seeing solutions in a certain way, rather than innovating and using an idea from left field.
On the plus side it will give those in the project a chance to shine, and develop their project management skills, by seeking innovative ways to overcome the problem, as well as broadening their skills base.
So next time a problem arises in your project will you pick up the phone, or call a team meeting? Let me know your thoughts.