- Assume nothing
- Believe no one
- Check everything
I sat down with a 'not-senior-not-junior' member of my project team last week to discuss her work. I'd been puzzled over the seeming order in which she was doing it; with her team leader being away it was time to make inquiries.
I found a disaster unfolding before me.
Her team leader (the away one) had been quite clear on the mission and was seemingly executing it well. It was relatively small, self-contained and low risk, so I left it to her.
In the transfer of information to the 2IC team leader something had gotten lost and the tree being barked up was in the wrong forest!
So: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.
A brief project plan, or statement of brief would have clarified everyone's perception, so I'm going to knock together a template for just such a thing. It makes good procedural discipline as well, so that a pattern of activity is instilled in the team when undertaking a contributory task, to ensure they know how it advances the overall mission, and so they can see how it achieves what it needs to.