Be Paranoid! Log Everything!

“Hey BA,” his name wasn’t BA…this isn’t A-Team fan-fiction, “Are the requirements ready?”

The BA shrugged, “No, still working on them.” Hmmm.

“What’s holding this up? You said they’d be ready today.”

“No I didn’t.” I’d already had doubts about the BA’s competence, but now his honesty was coming into question.

“You did. At last week’s team call, you said it would be ready on Wednesday.”

“No, I don’t think so…”

“You know that I log decisions and actions from that meeting? I logged that you’d said they’ll be ready on Wednesday.”

“You must have misunderstood me.” Hey, is anyone else’s blood boiling..?

“Not likely as I record the meetings that I lead – it’s easier than trying to present, lead and minute at the same time. I recorded the meeting and then had the pleasure of living it twice. And you said that you would have requirements ready by Wednesday.”

“I didn’t see the log.” FFS!!!!!

“I send the log out to the whole team at the end of every work day. It’s how we track our actions and what’s expected of us.” It’s something I’ve done for years, but had – until today – thought was a tad overkill.

“I can’t be expected to read every email…blah blah blah!” Sorry folks, I missed the end of his sentence as I was distracted by a roaring noise in my ears and red mist in front of my eyes.

 

TWO WEEKS LATER

“Hey New BA, you know Old BA’s requirements got rejected by the project board this morning, how long before you can engage the business owners and get them up to scratch?”

“Should be able to do that by next Friday.

“Next Friday. Okay, I’ll update the log. It will be ready by next Friday.”

“Next Friday,” he smiled.

“Because you know I log these things? I’ll track this.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard.”


Three rules here.

  1. Log and track all decisions and actions.  You are surrounded with colleagues with varying levels of competency and honesty.  In some cases people can just forget or make mistakes, it’s rarely malicious.  But if your performance is in any way measured by their delivery, you have to log everything they say they will do.
  2. Be accountable for what you commit to doing.
  3. If you’ve been foolish enough to break Rule 2 with someone following Rule 1, don’t be a smartass.

Written by Stuart Taylor

Born and raised in Walsall, West Midlands; currently living in Buckinghamshire; career in project management; runs a lot but isn't getting any slimmer...

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