True Status – The high achiever

I like to work with people who get things done, who doesn’t?  I have be fortunate enough to work with some really talented coders who are great and offering ideas to solve problems, will listen and try alternative methods, and who are just all around fun and productive team members.

But anyone with an amazing talent, that loves to learn and solve problems also may love to “figure things out” on their own.  We all do this all day long but in some cases, the solutions my take a few days, then a few weeks which can eat up any slack that you had in your schedule.

Everyone likes the “win” of a challenge.  You are at their mercy with respect to your relationship.  You don’t want tell the sponsors so-and-so is unable to fix this or that your best team member is holding up the project.

While this all may be true, a better approach is this:

  • Review the schedule and ensure to determine the true deadline
  • Review the dependencies and confirm corresponding deadlines
  • Determine what part you might be able to help with e.g. research, searching through logs, summarizing data
  • Think through if the delay is just part of the process, for instance,
    • will the person need to go through this effort sometime later anyway
    • or is this a one-time effort that another person with prior experience can quickly complete
  • Consider it a valid delay in your project, worthy of pushing back the schedule
  • Offer and continue to offer assistance with links on forms to others with the same issue, relevant white papers, and vendor assistance

At the end of the day you don’t want to end up like Samsung, rushing to market with something that will eventually blowup your customers’ cars and get your product banned from the FAA.

You should work to keep the confidence your team members have in their abilities and not shortcut their growth or a project for the sake of a schedule.  People, not the project, matter the most.