What's Your Approach?

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Today we have a guest editorial as Steve is on vacation.

Recently, I came across one of Richard Branson’s quotes on work commitments. “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

This reminded me of a few project managers, who did commit to certain deliverables to the stake holders, without discussing with the technical team (clearly they didn’t know what was possible and how much time it would take). Results, most of them fell flat on their faces, with some losing their positions in the organisations. However, there were a couple, who were able to deliver within the time and budget constraints. Though they faced a lot of stressful situations, they managed to gear up the teams to see their vision and deliver it.

Then, on the other hand, I have worked with very cautious Project Managers, analyst by nature, who took facts in consideration, before committing to a deliverable and deadline. No doubt, they succeeded most of the times, but they always took longer to commit; and were not very much liked by the stake holders.

So broadly speaking, there are 2 types of approaches:

  1. CUD - Commit, Understand and Deliver
  2. UCD - Understand, Commit and Deliver

Of course, there is a third approach - paralysis of analysis, but let’s ignore it for now.

Personally, I feel my approach is UCD. I cannot justify committing to something, which I am not sure how I would deliver. Committing before understanding, to me, seems like lying. However, after reading about Richard Branson’s quote; and all his achievements, it made me wonder, if my approach (or attitude) was actually restricting my overall successes. Shouldn’t the life be about taking higher risks for higher gains?  Or is honesty still the best policy, when it comes to such commitments ?

Where do you stand? What’s your approach to work commitments?

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