Before heading into the second TiSS platform my team and I were confident in the work we had done and excited to share the developments, in person, with our project owner. We were prepared to dazzle and amaze everyone with our ideas. And then shortly before the platform we learned our project owner wouldn’t be able to join us. It knocked a bit of wind out of our sails and we were slightly discouraged.

We were just going to have to make the best of it. Having face time with your project team is invaluable so we couldn’t waste time feeling sorry for ourselves; we had to move forward full speed ahead. A second round of SCRUM, hands on activities and discussions about budget estimates really shed some light on where we needed to focus our attentions. A couple of intense days of discussions, brainstorming and planning left us even more confident in our project plan and excited about the potential of a focus group. We would really be able to test our ideas and get real time feedback we could then action; practical application of SCRUM methodology. What could be better?

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We gathered all of our learning and ideas and sent them off to our project owner and crossed our fingers. How could he not share our enthusiasm, it was a solid idea with a clear goal and execution plan. And then, out greatest fears were realized. Our understanding and expectation of the project and that of our project owner were not the same. We were back at square one and had two choices, throw in the towel or cut our losses and come up with a new game plan. To be honest my first thought was, throw in the towel! We have wasted all this time and have nothing to show for it.

When you are already balancing a full-time career and family in addition to working in a project group, these setbacks can be incredibly frustrating and demoralizing. And that is on a normal day. Add in any changes and/or urgent topics in your day to day workload and losing a member or your project team, you can very quickly begin to feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, it also gives you an opportunity to take stock in how you handle challenging situations. This was certainly going to put the learnings about agile thinking to the test. We had to adapt, pivot and change our mindset.

Our goal is the same, our team still has viable and executable ideas, we are lucky enough to have support from our project Godmother and our SCRUM instructors. So it’s time to dust ourselves off and as Tim Gunn would say, “Make it Work”. I am beyond impressed with my project team and how they have tackled this challenge. I have been more of a silent observer in recent weeks due to other commitments; however, I am excited about getting back to the task at hand and working with such a talented and dedicated group. Despite our many struggles I have no doubt that the team will prevail and we will have our chance to WOW and impress our project owner and fellow TiSS participants. See you at platform three.

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