The fuel for a great project is momentum. Momentum keeps things exciting, on task and full of energy. There’s a few reasons for momentum loss but the worst - the absolute worst one is when your project has run up against the “bureaucrat”.
Bureaucrats are individuals that are stuck.
They’re stuck in the status quo. And they defend it with vigor (typically the only time we see them with energy). Why? Why do they do that? It could be fear, lack of energy, some sort of issue I’m probably not qualified to speak about.
It doesn’t really matter (aside from how they affect the culture around them - but that’s another post). What does matter, is when your project finds it’s way to the bureaucrat’s door…. your project will hit a dead end.
Hitting the brakes.
The bureaucrat has the ability to throw up roadblocks and obstacles in the form of rules, time, resources, tools… whatever really. And when they do the momentum peters out and dies.
The result? Lost momentum. People that were excited and driven start to feel deflated and I don’t blame them. We get better work when people are excited and passionate about what they're working on.
What to do? Re-route? Or wait in the traffic jam?
- Listen. Try to sift through the excuses and see if there’s actually an issue. If there is, address it.
- Move on. And do it fast. You’ve engaged and adjusted so get back on track.
There’s nothing wrong with analyzing and anticipating risks. But when it comes at the expense of getting good work that’s done on time, then it’s ok to take a detour (not a shortcut) to get to the finish line.