Effective Escalation Leadership vs. Escalation Processes

One point before we start this series of posts.  The Five D’s for Leading Project Escalations is not about putting in place a process.  Our experience at SAP is that lack of process is rarely the issue; in fact, our de-escalation processes are effective and efficient.

Once they’re activated, of course.  The most common problem with recovering troubled projects is very straightforward: project leadership waited too long to escalate issue(s) outside of the project.  The project is too far gone, too many resources have been spent or burned out, etc.

And the most common reasons that project leadership waited was that they wanted to be sure that “they really had a problem” or they wanted to “try to fix it ourselves.”  Very simply, this series of posts will focus on how to find the “bad news” and get it out quickly, appropriately, and effectively.

Five D’s for Leading Project De-Escalations

Amy Alberg’s post at Making Things Happen (here) reminded me that it’s time to dust-off and post on a five step process I put together for de-escalating trouble projects.  My approach focuses on how initiative leaders approach their responsibilities as leaders or as trusted advisors (to our customers).  I’ll lay out the steps in more detail later; for now, below are the steps on the escalation leadership pyramid.

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