Topic Teasers Vol. 78: Breaking Stalemates

Question: We are at a stalemate! Executives keep asking for more and more projects to be done, yet our resources do not have enough spare time to do them. We look bad, but when we say we don’t have enough time to do these requested projects, management doesn’t really “hear” us. I’m not officially a project manager, but is there any way I can step up and help my organization through this standoff?

A. If you are not a project manager, this is not your problem. Continue to do your daily work and spend whatever few hours a week you can working on projects as they are assigned by the boss of your department.

B. Ask to make a plea in the next executive meeting. When you present your case, let them know that everyone is too busy to do more projects and, realistically, it will a long time before the current ones are finished. It is important to set expectations.

C. Ask your immediate manager if you can work with your colleagues to try to capture the free time available for projects and then prepare information for him to present to the executives. In this way, you may be able to realistically show some options for moving forward with organizational projects.

D. Work to reduce the number of hours you spend on your current daily tasks so that you can focus more of your energy on important projects. Projects are the future, so they should be completed even if it is at the expense of the operational tasks that keep the company running in the present.

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