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What to do when things go awry

philip kotler marketing management book

Deadlines go down the drain, employees pretend they don’t understand anything, and bosses are already looking for a victim for the next cut. 8 essential tips for project managers in these situations from Scott Berkun, author of the bestselling Done. Project Management in Practice “.

Take it easy

Nothing aggravates the situation more than actions dictated by fear or anger.

Assess the problems in relation to the project

If someone is convinced that everything is lost, this does not mean that this is the case in reality. Make sure you understand the problem clearly.

Take it easy again

Now that you are aware of the problem, it is time to express feelings. Try to do it safely: shout into your pillow, practice a new technique on a boxing bag, pour out your soul to a close friend.

Engage the right people

Find the most responsible, knowledgeable and intelligent and involve them in the project. Be clear about who is to blame for the problem: you or someone else.

Explore alternatives

Do a little research, think about what options you have.

Make the simplest plan

The best available option is the best available option, even if it sucks. A crisis is not the best time to idealize. The more urgent the problem, the simpler the plan should be.


Make sure everyone who is working on the task is involved and clearly understands why they are doing it.

Analyze the work done

When the problem is solved, gather the right people and make a list of the lessons learned.

And most importantly, try not to bring to an all-out crunch … although who are we trying to convince)

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