Adaptability is Key


It’s been a tough week, and it’s only Wednesday morning. We’ve had a bunch of family illnesses — nothing deadly, but difficult to diagnose with long term effects. A very old friend of the family died. And because it’s June, the kids have a gazillion things with school and sports. I’m not quite back on East Coast time, so it’s been a tough week. And it’s only Wednesday morning.

I was originally going to title this post “Adaptability is Key for PMs,” but that would be incorrect. Everyone’s adaptability is the reason my family with our assorted projects is managing to get everything done.

I bet the same thing happens on your projects. Things happen. The build breaks, the performance isn’t quite right, some customer wants something different. Whatever happens, it’s not what you expected. The ability of you and the entire project team to adapt to whatever problems exist are the key to solving these problems and moving past them to achieve success. And there are weeks (sometimes even months) when adapting and problem solving seems like the hardest thing in the world to do.

This week isn’t fun for me, but it will be over whether I replan or not. I’ll replan and adapt, and determine ways to achieve at least some of the things I need to do before the week is over. And then I’ll replan next week to make the most of it. That’s all anyone can do. The more you adapt to your current state, the more you can create a future state that’s close to what you want. And for weeks like this, what else can you do?

2 Replies to “Adaptability is Key”

  1. Sounds like you are caught in “The Blur”. Like people in their personal lives, organizations often find that most of their work is informal, assigned verbally, is ad-hoc or done through email. We call this ”The Blur.” Reducing ”The Blur” can have the single most positive effect on your resources.

  2. Adaptability is nonsense. Acceptance is the word. Accept what happens – this means retaining your balance even when things go “wrong”. Adaptability carries a negative connotation – just think about the different meanings these two words convey.
    Accept the reality, accept the build breaks, accept the misperformance, accept customers expectations…then you wont spend a second on cribbing.

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