Doing new is hard and starting new is particularly hard. Once fear is overcome and new is started, doing new becomes a battle with discouragement. Not managed, discouragement can stop new.
Slumped shoulders and a head hung low are the signs and a mismatch with expectations is the source. Expectations are defined in the form of a project plan, but, since the work is new expectations are not grounded, not calibrated. How long will it take to do something we’ve never dreamed of doing? Yet when disguised as a project plan, uncalibrated expectations become a hard deadline.
When you want to do new, you give the project to your best. When they use the right tools, the latest data, and the best processes, yet new does not come per the plan, your best can become discouraged. But this discouragement is misplaced. Sure, the outcome is different from the plan, but reality isn’t the problem, it’s the plan, the expectations. They did everything right, so tell them. Tell them the expectations are out of line. Tell them you think their doing a good job. Tell them if it was easy, you’d have given the project to someone else. Tell them they can feel discouraged for five more minutes, but then they’ve got to go back, look new in the eye, and kick its ass.
Dr. Mike Shipulski (certfied TRIZ practioner) brings together the best of TRIZ, Axiomatic Design, Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (2006 DFMA Contributer of the Year), and lean to develop new products and technologies. His blog can be found at Shipulski On Design.