Your Customers don’t care I was at a local cafe working on a Kanban training program that I’ll soon be making available. I had my usual coffee and then a toffee bar with sugar avalanche caught my attention. It caught my eye and I bought it. Because I have no impulse control. I took the first delicious bite and closed my eyes, ready for the caloric coma. “Hey, this dough!” I hate dough. What a disappointment. I explained to the woman behind counter that my bar was not properly baked. “Oh, that comes pre-baked, it’s not baked here.” Wha?? That was her first response. Seriously.

  • First, pre-baked bakery products are a turnoff.
  • Second, it doesn’t matter who was at fault. I want to solve my problem.

Your Project Stakeholders don’t care Did you notice that her first priority was to shift the blame away from herself? “I’m sorry, I’ll take care.” It wouldn’t have been so bad if the blame-game was ended with an acknowledgement and promise of a solution. These sound familiar? “Well John was the one who suggested that I do it this way.” “We assumed that we could model the other project. It’s not their fault. “I don’t know why they are complaining, we checked the requirements.” They are all excuses and your project customer and stakeholders don’t care. They shouldn’t. Shifting blame or trying show that you have met objectives on paper does not solve the problem. Your customers don’t care. There are many opportunities to blame others on a typical project. Many people do it in a premeditated, yet unconscious manner. (It’s an oxymoron, I know.) Does any of this sound familiar? “They don’t know what their wants are so we’ll have guesses.” “OK, but don’t blame us if this all comes crashing down. (Where’s my red Swingline stapler?) “Let’s follow their lead. It’s not right, but it was done first so no one can point fingers at us. “We can’t blame the contractor if they screw up. These are examples of planning to make excuses. Again, nobody cares. Concocting a conspiracy to blame insurance is not a way to add value. This must be something you do every day. It’s rampant, I swear! Rampant! You are just kidding. You should care. These problems can be solved if you are willing to take the initiative and find solutions. Your team and you should ask questions such as “How can I better understand my customers’ needs?” “How can we be honest and kind while telling our boss that this is a stupid idea?” “How can we improve on existing processes to achieve best results?” “What can we do better to collaborate with our contractors in order to ensure timely deliveries and quality?” Did the cafe manager buy boxed goods instead of baking them to avoid being held responsible if something went wrong? This is not how the world works. I don’t blame anyone if you share/like this post on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment below with a story and insight. Promise.