“Um, I said you’d drive them the 238 855 miles to the moon with your 1964 Morris Minor.”
Argh! I am not a happy bunny when someone makes a crazy promise that I am responsible for delivering, and that’s exactly what happens when we have a sales team who isn’t experienced enough to write a Statement of Work properly.
I guess this is how my #legal friends feel like when they get called in too late – once the ink is signed, to review the risks.
If I am involved in the pre-sales process, then I can help make sure that we are able to deliver a robust solution by calling out risks and any potential issues and find ways to workaround them.
However, if I get handed the signed SoW that has had minimal involvement from the Delivery team (and which we are contractually bound to deliver) then it would be very important for me to understand what we are walking into.
This is where I would lean on the expertise within my team to highlight concerns and risks, and put together a plan of action.
Interestingly, I’ve known other PMs who hate it when their team bring up issues and risks. Perhaps they see it as “negative”?
I find that very bizarre indeed.
Why wouldn’t you want to know the potholes in your journey ahead?
Why wouldn’t you want to know the terrain, and what gear you need to bring with you?
If I have to make this journey with my team, then I want to be as prepared as possible.
As a leader, you need to make it safe for your team to bring all their concerns to you, so that you can jointly make decisions to ensure the safety of your crew (metaphorically) and the project.
Forewarned is forarmed, as they say.
I like that.
Sticking your head in the sand is rarely a good strategy, especially when it comes to signed SoWs in consulting work. 😐