Driving Your Project With the Brakes On?

Are you driving your project with the brakes on?

Are you Driving Your Project with the Brakes On? “Driving with the brakes on … swimming with your boots on,” these lyrics from Del Amitri’s song remind me of some projects I worked on. Getting work done was like stepping on the accelerator. Decision-making, on the other foot, felt like stepping on the brakes.

The song describes two lovers who are, “driving through the long night, trying to figure who’s right and who’s wrong.” This pretty much sums up key stakeholders fighting over the right or wrong decision to make.

One of the stakeholders is driving, “She’s got the wheel.”

The other stakeholder is the passenger, “I’ve got nothing except…”

Except in projects, there could be many more stakeholders who are in the passenger seats who also want to take the wheel.

How do you drive faster? Before you get into the car, decide who has the keys. Document it using the DACI decision-making framework:

  1. Who is the driver who has the keys?
  2. Who is the approver who pays for gas?
  3. Who are contributors – passengers who have a say?
  4. Who needs to be informed – passengers who don’t have a say?

When deciding on the destination and the route (“who’s right and who’s wrong”) another consider using Force Field Analysis. You propose a plan, then evaluate forces for vs. forces against the change.

Finally, it’s important for all stakeholders to commit to supporting the group’s decision, “Unless the moon falls … unless continents collide … nothing’s gonna make me break from her side.” Outside of the decision-making meeting, the stakeholders must stand as one and not break from the group’s decision.

May you drive your project without the brakes on. If you want to hear the song, check out the links below: