Facing Reality – Pushing Forward When “the Boss” Won’t Help

In some project environments, project managers and business analysis get bogged down because they expect their managers, sponsors or other key stakeholders to take some action and it doesn’t come to fruition. As a result, projects that would otherwise succeed come to a screeching halt.

Resilient project leaders who engage in Intelligent Disobedience understand that what will push any project forward is substantial purpose. Short of moving forward without knowledge of a significant stakeholder’s requirements, the smart business analyst or project manager will face the reality of an unresponsive senior leader – whether it is due to time pressures, project knowledge or priorities – and proceed anyway. A project that has a genuine and meaningful purpose for the organisation will find its way to completion, if the project leadership team takes initiative, makes decisions themselves and communicates them, and seeks out other project supporters for their wisdom, experience and judgement.

The most successful people in life do not wait for others, nor do they hang their happiness on the actions or reactions of others. Intelligently disobedient project leaders embrace the same mantra; they are willing to take risks and move forward, as long as the purpose for a project is sound, pragmatic and reasonable.

  • Are you waiting for someone to make a decision when you feel confident you can make the decision and you know what you would do?
  • Do you have the capability to provide valid, sponsorship level input to the organisation, but are holding off and waiting for the “actual sponsor” to do so, and waiting is delaying your project?
  • Can you confidently represent the business and articulate risks, but are waiting for approval from others?

If any of the above is true, are you unduly delaying your project? Could you not document your decision with the direction you are taking, and ask for counter direction if it is desired for you to proceed differently? You may want to consider this – the purpose of your project may depend on it!