I have been in sales and marketing for some time now and I work with Project Managers (PM’s) nearly everyday. It struck me the other day how similar PM’s and sales forces really are. Project Managers are sales people on many levels. Project Managers often have to sell the benefit of an idea to get their teams motivated. Project Managers identify problem areas to avoid, as do sales professionals.
An interesting twist on this is taking the problem a step further and identifying the problems’ implications and consequenses in any given project. It is one thing to note a specific problem, but if you really want to wake the team up, talk about the implications of that problem in greater detail. Bring up examples of likely scenarios and issues that could arise. By stressing the implications, you will put a magnifying glass on the issue and focus on the ways to avoid that pothole! After all, problems come and go, but the consequences may not.