PM Tip of The Week: Don’t Panic…Wait 5.
A member of your project team just reported a major issue, what are you to do?! Don’t press the panic button! Take a deep breath and wait 5 minutes or 10, or even the day. Why? Often issues that are perceived as major may be easy resolved, once more information is uncovered or other team members have a chance to provide insight.
Panicking will be a time waster. Instead use your energy to be sure whatever fire just came up is real, and then assess the impact to the overall project health. With the help of your team and their feedback, assess and determine the real impact the issue may have on the project. Once you have clearly documented the facts and options, it is then time to determine if escalation is necessary. Lastly, do not be afraid to present issues to the sponsor even if you feel that their reaction may be negative. If you are prepared and can clearly explain the issue at hand, they might provide insight and help, perhaps even offering options that you have not considered.