No matter how much you plan and prepare, every project management professional occasionally runs into a situation where none of the possible solutions are perfect fits, and you’re left to select something that you know is less than ideal. What do you do? We have some tips to help you choose something you can live with.
1 – Be sure you understand your options. This most basic advice just might be the most valuable, because once you determined an option didn’t have everything you want, chances are good you stopped investigating it. Now is the time to dig deeper. Are there benefits you hadn’t discovered initially? Will something else about the solution help to offset whatever’s missing? You might find you have a diamond in the rough, so take the time to learn all you can about the options available to you.
2 – Identify your project’s deal breakers. By determining your absolute requirements—what you must have, what you can’t tolerate—you can probably eliminate some of the least desirable options. Remember to consider regulations you need to meet, budget limitations you can’t exceed, and any other boundaries that would help narrow down the selection. Those solutions that are left are likely to be the most amenable of the bunch, and there’s less chance you’ll encounter unexpected glitches down the road.
3 – Recognize what you don’t like about each option. Putting together a list showing where each solution is lacking might yield some surprising results. Unsupportable or outdated parameters are sometimes established early in the project using things such as personal preferences, stakeholder whims, end user expectations, and even a “that’s how we’ve always done it” credo. Take a look at any unnecessary restrictions and consider changing your mindset to be more in line with the solutions that are open to you.