A fundamental component of successful engineering project management is the clear understanding of what it is you’re tasked with accomplishing—and then making it the central thing that guides all your decisions. Whenever you’re faced with a hard choice or fork in the management decision road, you should pause and ask yourself, “What Am I Trying To Accomplish?”
I call this taking a “WAITTA1-minute” moment, and it’s a fundamental secret to project management success.
“No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” —Mark Twain
This notion of going back to first principles and focusing on the project goals is so basic that it’s often overlooked by new engineering managers. They jump ahead and get caught up quickly in solutions and options—and in doing so, they often choose the wrong ones. And they do this because they forget what the project is ultimately about. Let me explain…