“Some people say that holding on and staying in shows the sgn of strength. However, there are times in life in which it takes much more strength to just let go”.
I have read the above quote and heard let it go several times. At each of those occasion, I was on the other side of the fence, never part of the game. Recently, I have experienced & was part of the let-go situation.
It was a quite demanding business situation for a last few weeks, atypical “make-or-break” sorts with too many loose ends to work upon. To tie up the ends together, we camped together in a business-huddle for days/weeks altogether. It was a diverse & fantastic team working together first time with only goal in mind – achieve success in a quite aggressive time frame. We did experience several constraints, roadblocks, ambiguity and kept on unlocking each one of those situation with the sheer zeal & passion. In the process, we made assumptions, put the mitigation in place for each of the risks encountered.
Finally, we all were about to achieve the goal and then we were told “Let it go”. The decision was made to abrupt the project immediately. It was due to several business risks. The key one is that there were too many loose ends to cover-up. To be honest, I didn’t knew how to react, as we still didn’t wanted to accept that decision. We tried and discussed various possibilities/options and sort of plead to reverse the decision. We were heard with empathy, however were told firmly the decision was made and is final. The discussion was that there too many risks, though we had appropriate mitigation’s in place. The loose-ends were far too many and could have given us a very difficult business situation in the coming days, weeks and months altogether. I felt like a leaving mission incomplete on that moment, that evening. We all left the huddle & dispersed with the only gratification of being part of the great team.
The feeling of mission incomplete lasted for a next few days until we discussed the decision and more-so logically with some of the team-members. This time we could see the rationale and the pragmatic view behind the decision. We also agreed that it was the right decision albeit a difficult one. We did realized that during the huddle we had only one mission – to achieve the positive result, come what may!! In that process, we started putting mitigation’s/contingency in place for each risk encountered. We started putting split of roles & responsibilities (slice & dice) to manage the incoming situations. What we missed that, in reality it’s possible to manage a few risks and mitigation’s. However, the compounded impact of several risks becoming reality was far too severe. That could have left us & much bigger in quite a demanding position. The impact could have been much wider and bigger to manage. In-fact we smiled and acknowledged that it was the right decision and hats off to set of people who took that decision.
Our learning in the process is:
- It is fine to put the mitigation in place for the individual risk.Consider the situation, if all the risk happen together then analyze the overall impact and assess if the planned mitigation can manage the cumulative impact
- Analyze the assumptions and assess if the assumptions fail, what does it means to the team in the coming days/weeks/months altogether
- If there are too many loose ends, take a step back and assess if we are doing the right thing. Check if it is possible to to manage loose ends or those are far too many
With this I would end the post and would like to hear your experience in a similar situation.