Signs of things going wrong

  1. Approvals don’t stay approved. You get that email the next day, saying, “Gosh, you know, I really think we should do X after all.” Or in your next meeting on the prototype, they want to talk about the personas you decided on. They’re not on board, and it’s really difficult to move forward.
  2. You start thinking about how you can spin things, rather than doing your best work. In my experience, this involves a lot of checking in old emails and scopes of work, to see whose fault things really are, or what you’re really on the hook for. Staying in scope is a good thing, but too much of this, and you know you’re veering off course.
  3. You leave meetings feeling like you’ve won. I think this one is the worst, because it feels good. You get to walk out of meetings feeling like Don Draper, but it usually means something bad for the project. If you’re doing it right, you shouldn’t be able to win.