It was during the initial days of my career as a Project Manager that I realized the best advice for life to self: give your 100 percent.
Being from a start-up, we have had an unstructured setup, anyone and everyone could be involved in the projects received by our team. The recently received project required core technical skills, and the support team was necessary more than anything, especially for everyone to understand the technicalities from 1-2 team members specialized in that field.
While everyone was already loaded with a project, we received an urgent project from a client, which had to be completed in 5 days. The client being very important to us, the company could not deny the project. After assessing the scope of the project, we estimated that we would need to complete a 30-day project in 5 days. Everyone in the team felt panicky and overwhelmed.
With no options left, we had to work on the project. We had to understand all the possibilities and from where we could team in resources. We prepared a framework to strategize the work involved and minimize the impact on other projects' timelines. And then this was the best example of teamwork, I can always cite.
Here is how we started:
First, the sales team came in support of us and assessed, which ongoing projects could be delayed. Apart from the project in question, the sales team contacted other project clients and requested a date extension, wherever possible. As a result, we got an extension for 3-4 projects and so we could utilize more team members here.
Considering the situation of the new project, everyone was ready to work extra and deliver the project. But the challenge was to balance the technical understanding and also to manage the time effectively. So, we divided the entire work into various components, based on the complexity. We decided that each technical expert will take care of one complex component, and assist another team member from other domains.
Now, the entire focus was on developing a deep understanding of the client's requirements and ensure everyone is in sync with our execution protocols. Spending 5-6 hrs on brainstorming looked crazy, considering the time limits. But, it worked out great. All of us could expedite our work because of a well-developed understanding. Everyone had to slog but the enthusiasm did not fade for completing the tasks.
It went quite well in all the tasks until we encountered a bug after the last-minute check. There was a mistake in one of our files that would generally take up at least one day to rectify even if 3-4 employees worked. Despite this, rather than focusing on who did the mistake of putting blames, everyone lent their support to complete this daunting task. We worked the whole night but still could not complete it. Looking at our effort, the sales team came up with a surprise move. They decided to convince the client to extend the deadlines, even though it was very risky at this time. Yet, they convinced the client to extend the deadline and share a near-final report with them.
This situation, to me, taught a great lesson - ‘If others have the confidence that we are giving our 100 percent, we get that support automatically’.
From then on, I never tried to convince people much about my efforts. I gave my 100 percent all the time and made sure others have confidence in my integrity about work. And obviously, the teamwork did help a lot.
Story Credits: Anonymous