Off Schedule = Low Energy

This weekend my wife and son and I are visiting family to celebrate a late Christmas, and of course there are always surprise changes to who will be here and when. In this case, it revolves around the main meal which is to be served at 1 PM. Everyone was informed ahead of time via multiple methods about the time, and everyone knows the location. Even with all of this, some family members decided to take a side-trip to Costco on the way, causing them to be late. This probably wouldn’t have been a problem, except that we didn’t find out until the last minute.

As I sat in the kitchen talking with family and waiting, it occurred to me that it felt as though the energy had practically been sucked out of the room. The excitement and joy died down to a very dull roar, and for me at least I felt as though I could take a long nap. That made me start thinking about other situations that could be affected in the same way.

For those of us who have ever been a part of a project, or initiative at work we have probably experienced the same type of event. Something somewhere is supposed to happen and doesn’t, and it feels like everything comes to a screeching halt, and trying to get back started after that can be a tremendously slow and painful process. Although it is generally accepted that schedule and scope will change (among other things) I think that more attention really needs to be paid to maintaining the momentum of a project with as few interruptions as possible.

Have some experience with this? Have some insights or opinions? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!