So, you think that you have agreement from your stakeholders but then you talk to another stakeholder who modifies that decision. Should you go ahead? Absolutely not.
Having very recently gone through this kind of situation outside work, I am back to one of my favourite tools: Go/No-go readiness checklists. These have been crucial at work to bring indecisive situations to a head but rather stupidly I didn’t see this as being a context where a readiness checklist would have been needed. I would have saved myself and my stakeholders a lot of grief had I done so.
What’s a readiness checklist? It is a list where everything is on hold until every item is Green for Go. Photoshop project management discusses this further but the key point is that WE are not ready until EVERYBODY is ready.
So how does this apply? I should have at least had a mental checklist and as soon as the stakeholder was giving a different story to me I should have seen that as a Red for No-Go and got him in touch with the other key stakeholders prior to going ahead with either his version or the original.
Another important factor is that I didn’t have all the information I needed to proceed with the initial decision. That made the clarity of the modified decision even more attractive and I got sucked into a mistake.
Hopefully I’ve learnt my lesson.
- Precise specifications. Y/N
- Fred approves. Y/N
- Wilma approves. Y/N
- Betty approves. Y/N
- Barney approves. Y/N
- Proceed? Y/N