The Challenge and the Solution

solutions to challenges

April 23, 2016, marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the Shakespeare enthusiasts planned a full year of Shakespeare events. The Folger Shakespeare Library in D.C. had a special exhibit of Shakepeare Folios and other memorbilia on display. The BBC announced a year beforehand that they’d be presenting a live Shakespeare Celebration from Stratford-upon-Avon with David Tennant (star of Dr. Who) on April 23, 2016. And annual Shakespeare Festivals went all out that year.

I recently attended William Shakespheare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged). This production asserts that Shakespheare’s first play was massive and included all the characters and ideas (mistaken identity, unsettled ghosts, ancient grudges, powerful tempests, magic spells, questionable potions, lost letters, devasting shipwrecks, men dressed as women, and twins and more twins) that later became Shakespheare’s 39 masterpieces.

What I loved about this presentation was the challenge: 100 hours of stage time and 100 characters being presented by 3 actors in 90 minutes. Truly these are people who “embrace solutions” instead of “giving excuses”.  They did achieve their goal.

Their solution:

  • Omit the chatty bits,
  • Don costumes and wigs for each character,
  • When a fourth character is required in the scene, just have one actor switch costumes quickly while on stage, or just hold up a second costume and use that character’s voice,
  • In the final scene in Act 1 where all the characters are caught in a powerful tempest while in a devastating shipwreck, employ the audience:
    • distribute squirt guns to the audience so they can simulate the tempest and rolling waves that saturate the characters,
    • recruit the help of a few audience members to hold up a long piece of blue material across the stage and wave it to create the sea while the actors behind the waving material pop up out of the roiling sea to shout their desparate woe-is-me dialog as they quickly switch from character to character.
    • Added Bonus: The squirt gun attack had a cooling effect for the actors who where running back and forth, switching costumes and jumping up out of the sea.

In the end, not only did they meet the challenge, they were a huge success. The takeaway for us is to “embrace solutions.”  All of us face challenges every day. Some are simple—a paper cut and no Band-Aid handy—but some are more complex.

For example, time management is my biggest challenge:

  • Everything seems to take longer than I expect
  • One small project seems to grow into three or four additional projects (which can be good or bad depending upon who’s paying for it)
  • Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong (and at the most inopportune time)
  • I cannot find it when I need it
  • I over-commit because it is difficult to say no (see bullet one where I seem to underestimate the time)
  • I get blindsided by unscheduled events or issues

If you are like me, you’ll want a system—like the Spitfire Project Management System—that is up for the challenge of solving time management issues.

The Spitfire Project Management System is a solution that I can embrace because it

  • Stores all my data: files, pictures, budgets, bills and invoices,
  • Includes all my events and sends me an alert when that event is getting near,
  • Supports collaboration with partners to actively air out issues and discuss possible resolutions,
  • Can be accessed 24/7 on my computer, my iPhone, and my iPad,
  • Shows all my commitments and expenses in one place so that I can quickly recognize trends and focus on trouble spots,
  • Provids filters and sorts so that I can quickly find information that I need NOW.

If such a system sounds like a solution you should embrace, start by requesting a demo. You may learn that your challenges need not be so…challenging.

This entry was posted in Project Management by Dorothy McGovern. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dorothy McGovern

Dorothy McGovern (VP of Client Services at Spitfire) has been with Spitfire since Day 1. Prior to Spitfire, Dorothy worked at IBM and the National Aero Space Plane group at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (where she made a hole in one on the 18th hole on the same day she fell out of the golf cart. Since it was the 2nd time she had ever played golf, it seemed like a good day to retire from that sport.) The postings on this site are her own and don’t necessarily represent Spitfire's positions, strategies or opinions.

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