One of the main reasons things go wrong on engagements is that you put too much stock in Newton’s law that says that something in motion stays in motion. So when you devise your plan, arrange your schedule and set your timeline, you expect that everything will go just as you put into motion. Yet inevitably, it doesn’t. In fact, it never does. There is always something that interferes, disrupts or distracts progress as you envisioned and instead, derails, delays or otherwise throws you off track.
You should pay more attention to Murphy’s law which says that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Knowing this, when you make your plans, you should examine the people, processes and other conditions that could possibly derail the project to keep a close eye on them. That’s where Murphy loves to hide and, in the most inopportune times, pop out and yell, “Surprise!”
What is really crazy is that you are taken aback when it happens, even though it ALWAYS happens. Really?
You sit there, bewildered, trying to figure out how things got so screwed up. So you review your wonderful planning spreadsheets and determine you did everything you were supposed to do. Whew. Now you quickly move your thinking from how it happened to finding excuses why it happened. After all, you had a plan. You had a schedule. You communicated with all the parties involved. What else could be asked of you?
If you want to earn the confidence of others that you “own your space,” you will have to pay more attention to Murphy. Otherwise, you will look like everyone else, walking around in half a daze, scratching your head, mumbling, “how could this have happened?”