April 2017

AXIA Consulting recently hosted the Webinar: Five Actions You Can Take This Week to Get Your Project Back on Track, presented by Bryan Schoeff and Justin Browder, authors of Perfect Strangers. We asked them to share with us a quick recap:

The Recap:

Five Actions You Can Take This Week to Get Your Project Back On Track

Authors of Perfect Strangers, Bryan Schoeff and Justin Browder, hosted a webinar on April 6th titled 5 Actions to Get Your Project Back on Track. This session explored and communicated what they’ve learned over the last two years while presenting about how project managers and developers relate and succeed at conferences, organizations and companies.

For your reading pleasure, Bryan and Justin have created a brief summary about each action and the principles behind them:

Action #1

Share Information in Real Time:
Create an environment with thoughtful impatience for information

Communication should be continuous. This goes for all aspects of the project—status, blockers, progress and issues.

Too often, team members (Project Managers, Developers, etc.) wait on the next status meeting, standup and retrospective to provide key updates to each other. By opening up the gates in all directions, and not depending on meetings as the only communication forum, information is openly shared and this input is implemented into more activities on the project.

Action #2

Effective Dialogue is Key
Replace a single meandering discussion with a quick dialogue. Then shift everything to a dialogue.

The pattern of discussing for the sake of discussing slows things down. Effective dialogues seek to understand perspectives, find a best answer, and move along.

To do so, facilitate, listen, and swallow your pride.

Have an honest conversation with yourself and with your team. Are you in an environment that demands a meeting for every decision? Does every team member and leader have to be present? Are you sometimes discussing things to avoid working?

The most efficient teams figure out how to drive to decisions without participation for participation’s sake, and then communicate results appropriately.

Action #3

Visualize the Whole Picture
Have a team conversation about the end game and what the team is working towards.

Does everyone know why you’re working on the project you’re working on? Are you 100% sure? Share the vision. This helps the team align and harmonize.

Think about all aspects of your life. From an efficiency and happiness perspective, do you tend to function better when you know what your goals are? Teams are very similar. People work hard, and even when it’s not vocalized, they have a desire to know what they’re contributing to. Make sure everyone knows that they’re part of a greater good.

Action #4

Put an Immediate and Bold Stop to Negative Habits
And have fun while doing it!

Everyone sees and is weighed down by negative actions and people. Don’t slowly tweak! Instead,as a team, provocatively announce that obvious, negative team habits, should end.

Building small habits is important and useful, but sometimes it’s time to be a bit more extravagant. Armed with a good sense of humor and purpose, do something big!

If people are showing up late to meetings, decide with the team an adequate and fun “punishment.” Make them throw a dollar in a jar for charity, make a big announcement as they arrive or have a “Late Again” paper hat.

When done in the confines of the team, and with the team involved in the creation of rule, have some fun!

Action #5

Just for a day, think about every request you make
Are you someone others perceive as constantly requiring help and hand-holding?

Pay close attention to two things—

(1) How much are you leveraging other people’s time and attention

(2) Are there unintended outcomes of your requests?

There’s no better way than to keep an inventory of the requests you make for a short period of time. You can decide whether your request list is too short, too long or just right.

Once you have an inventory of your request, you can think about the outcomes of these requests. Are there unintended side effects? Are you sending the message you want others to hear by the way you deliver those requests?


Bryan and Justin are currently on the road, continuing to build on their discussions with more teams, companies, and organizations.

To book them for an upcoming meeting or conference, contact PerfectStrangers@axiaconsulting.net.

Download the full PDF here: Five Actions You Can Take This Week Recap

Webinar Recap