Conscientious Coder? How to Survive a Project in Crisis

Being thrown into a project that’s immersed in crisis can drive conscientious coders over the brink. Missed deadlines, vague specifications and poor leadership are enough to force diligent contractors to head for the nearest the exit.

Ideally, you’d know your limits and evade troubled projects instead of ending up with a spotty work history, like the professional who posted about his resume challenges on Dice Discussions. And since fire fighting is engrained in technology projects, it may be hard to collect a steady paycheck if you constantly jump ship instead of developing coping strategies like these.

How do you cope with a troubled project? Share your tips below.

Accept your role and do more

So you’re the responsible one, the healer, the go-to guy. What’s wrong with that? Why not capitalize by embracing your capabilities, fostering a reputation and commanding combat pay.

Voice your concerns but offer solutions

Don’t turn a blind eye to slackers or missed deadlines. Instead, gain a sense of control and quell your anxiety by voicing your concerns and suggestions to your supervisor when the time is right. The PM may appreciate your ideas plus, just raising the issues can be cathartic for frustrated professionals who feel compelled to right the ship.

Mentor under-performers

Your under-performing teammates may be drowning, but they’re afraid to ask for help. In fact, they may think you’re a bad teammate for gossiping about them and hoarding your expertise instead of helping them improve.

Control what you can and temper your expectations

Nobody’s perfect so learn what you can, do what you can and remember that all projects come to an end.

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Comments

  1. BY RMS says:

    Contractors are not the only persons being tossed into a crisis to clean up a mess. There is “crisis management” and management by crisis. One is an exception, the other a rule. Anyone whose knickers-knot over crisis needs a position where work involves long term projects.

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