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Manage   »   Project Management   »   Solving Problems


When we coach we also act as a problem solver, especially for those peculiar problems we did not expect. During project development we hit troubles and barriers to our project progress. These barriers become more difficult to traverse when the topic of our development is new to us.

With any new development, project team members will encounter inconsistencies or contradictions between what they plan to do and what the official guide book says.

The coach makes their services available to uncover real issues, to delve more deeply into the project paradoxes and to offer paths away from any problems.

When major show stopper problems occur, it is wise, if it can be accommodated, to halt the team and huddle, swarm or school them to self organise and begin to focus the efforts of the group on the problem and solution. As a leader it is important to avoid the temptation to immediately resolve or seek to supply instant solutions. The team is the decider and the arbiter of the problem and the solution.

Explore the options and the possible pathways. Engender opinion and promote feedback, sanction beliefs but never let these blind the facts and the evidence. This is a positive behaviour which is useful in resolving problems and to uncover true causes. It is a positive nature to nurture this self resolving herding behaviour, to ambush attack and overcome a problem as a group.

Issues which bubble to the surface inside the core of the project are the bread and butter of project problem solving. However, there are, of course, certain issues that cannot be addressed or resolved by the project team. Organisational issues are the largest case in point. When a matter of governance or policy affects the team and their performance, the team will undoubtedly have an opinion and a will to repair the problem.

Almost certainly, however, organisational issues take a different path, a different approach and a different set of skills to repair. In this scenario, the leader or the coach is sought to solve a problem outside the core of the project. Oftentimes, this is in the area of commitment failure and this failure is causing an impediment to the natural progress of a fast paced team. These are important issues to overcome, to repair and to learn and steer away from in the future. Building and facilitating a team to deliver in these complex environments is our next topic.


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