One of the hardest lessons of my professional life was learning that you need to constantly stay on top of people to make things happen. I hate busting people’s stones but it is a necessary evil.
Whether it’s a fellow employee that’s working on a project with you, a supplier who promises to ship by a certain date, or a customer trying to get you specs for a program to put in place it seems like there’s always an excuse as to why things don’t happen as planned. I think there’s three reasons for this.
1. People are busy.
2. People are easily distracted.
3. Not everyone prioritizes issues the same as you. They may have bigger to fry than your issue.
The worst thing you can do is not stay on top of things. Don’t assume the person will take care of it because all too often it doesn’t happen. Take the extra 5 minutes to check in to make sure things are going as scheduled. It’s easier to catch a potential problem before the due date and alert all parties in advance that there may be an issue delaying delivery.
I would love to say I learned this lesson once and it hasn’t repeated itself since but that would be a lie. I make sure it doesn’t happen on the big issues but I sometimes get a little lax on the smaller once. More often than not I seem to have those come back to bite me.