Let me just say up front that I love a good plan. I relish going through the process of market audit and analysis and setting objectives whether these are long term and strategic, or quick and dirty project specifics. I enjoy thrashing out tactics and plotting a spread sheet with an implementation schedule. And most of all, sad as it sounds, I like agreeing the KPI’s and working out the best way to evaluate success.
Stage set, you can imagine my horror when my lovely student housing web project got interrupted by an acquisition.
You see, I work for a large Group which operates in diverse sectors and with a range of target markets. We have multiple websites and are in the process of rationalising content management systems so projects involve stakeholder analysis, re-scoping customer journey, site build and launch. We are going through this process with 4 sites currently but there are many more to come.
So I was merrily working my way through my plan when the announcement came that the Group was acquiring another housing association, student accommodation provider, and care and maintenance businesses.
For me that meant: “drop everything and engage in risk management”. First steps were to audit what digital assets were at stake, take control and very quickly build relationships so that we could continue the web service for customers as usual.
Doing this completely threw me out of sync. I could see Excel fading from my grasp, my Gantt chart slipping away week by week.
But that’s just business.
Business happens and the plan sometimes doesn’t exactly go to plan! It’s how you pick up from that and get back on course that counts.
I’m pleased to say the work from the acquisition is now almost ‘business as usual’ so I can get back to where I wanted to be. That is, until the next time business gets in the way.