When you can’t right the ship…

I am at the end of a very long, very visible 2-year project and there is an uncontrollable issue in my way of completing it. In a nutshell it is the kind of project where we pushed the envelope at every corner only to have it come back around to one of the most obvious and formulaic solutions. An idea that we presented at the first pass and then did everything but that before reverting back to the original idea. But what’s funny now is that the decisions we made for this off-the-shelf very basic solution, is now sitting in the middle of the ocean waiting for dock space during the West Coast Port Shutdown and my products will not make it here in time for the deployment date we had scheduled.

For the last 5 days I have been in a state of panic (with little I could control), and tried every possible other avenue. I started with the obvious working with my supplier to connect with the manufacturer in China to have them reproduce and then air freight. Another road block: Chinese New Year started on Friday and all of China’s factories are closed until the second week of March. We sought and counted inventory from as many suppliers as we could – nada. And now, our final solution has been to go with an entirely different product and redesign at the last minute to support that decision. Awesome.

I have been in the business long enough to think through many of these potential road blocks and make accommodations for them, so a quick dodge to the left or right, or even a zig zag maneuver are always in the back of my mind. When you can’t right the ship (or in this case dock the ship), you should take a deep breathe in and not focus on the ship so much. Instead come up with 3 solutions that could accomplish the same effect.