Delivery — 5th “D” for Leading Project Escalations

Good leadership never passes the buck… — Anonymous

The hardest part of an escalation is commiting to it; just like the first steps someone goes through when confronting crises such as alcoholism, drug addition, chronic smoking, etc.

Recognizing the need to change and the unmanageability of your situation — the first step of a typical 12-step program — corresponds to the Discovery layers of the Escalation pyramid.

The Discovery, Definition and Dialogue layers correspond to the second, third, fourth, and fifth steps of such programs:

  • Coming to believe that something outside of the project can “restore the project to sanity,”
  • Making a decision to turn that part of the project over
  • Taking an inventory of what is wrong (and right) about the project.
  • Admitting the faults in that inventory to another.

However, once the ball has started rolling, the situation becomes more normal. In other words, you manage an escalation just like any other project deliverable: plan, execute, monitor, control, and hopefully, close.

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