The bottom drops out (but not really) – The Tim Show – S01E02

I’m on a seafood diet… if I see food, I eat it!

I’m Tim, a product marketing manager at an enterprise software company with an open source development model. I’ve been selected to participate in a 1 to 2 year leadership development program in the APAC region. A year passes both quickly and slowly; this show is a way to both share what I’m learning and see how far I’ve come.

This episode is all about what what happens when you think something’s true that isn’t, and what you do from there

An incorrect assumption

Our group project is actually a continuation of another team’s efforts. They did A LOT of work to get the project to the point we took over: interviews, market research, even a pilot. They also did a lot of work to hand the project over to us, presentations, question and answer sessions, email, and in person conversations.

One of their achievements in particular was core to my understanding of where the project was and what we needed to do. In a meeting about a future opportunity to develop the project, we found out that the way we’d understood that achievement was not correct. That meant we’d based our project plan on an incorrect assumption.

Integrate and carry on

At first I thought “we are in big trouble, this changes everything”. I was frustrated because I felt foolish for not having asked more questions earlier on. As I thought about it more, I began to wonder “what does this really change?”

The things we’d planned to do would still have to be done. The work streams we’d identified were still valid. The brief that our project sponsors had given us didn’t rely on our incorrect assumption, and in fact had provided a hint about our misunderstanding if I’d been paying closer attention.

So we decided to continue with our plan more or less in tact. We’ve identified an assumption about what we’re building that we might not be the only ones making, which gives us something to test and report back on.

I’d challenge future Tim to take a closer look at new situations and not take everything at face value. One way to do that is to identify the assumptions I make and push on them to make sure they hold.

 

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