Like when you are developing a product using technologies that are relatively new and totally new to your team and stakeholders.
While it is fun to be learning new things, it’s damn hard to estimate effectively and stick to a schedule.
Especially when the culture around you isn’t used to new technologies or R&D-style projects.
I mean, really. Like when programming languages that went out of style 20 years ago are still the core of most new development.
Sometimes it seems like every day brings yet another unforeseen problem you weren’t expecting at all.
And you work with smart people. You’re smart. Why is this happening?
The first step is to breathe. You may have to pivot, educate stakeholders, negotiate extensions.
There are worse things in the world.
You are the project manager after all, and you can get your team through this.
Plus when you keep your head up and continue to be a role model for your team during tough times, something amazing can happen.
This situation can be turned to your advantage.
There have been times I’ve been struggling like described above, and I was pleasantly surprised when my team took the pressure of our situation and used it as a tool to come together and execute.
It can accelerate the storming phase of team formation when a strong leader on the team demonstrates optimism in the fact of adversity.
When people see that ‘can do’ attitude, it becomes contagious.
So, I say to myself and anyone else in this situation right now.
Stop crying, little baby.
Be a leader and show ’em what you’re made of.