Many years ago when Erik worked for his last employer, he was given a project out of Boise, Idaho which was in real trouble. By the time he was assigned to the project, the customer was furious.
Erik decided he was going to save this project. Everyone involved, the client and everyone at the agency said he’d have to fire the team in Boise and hire one in Norfolk, VA where the company was. So Erik went out and met the Boise team and it turns out, there was nothing wrong with them besides the fact that they were located pretty far out. The team was pretty good from a technical perspective. So Erik decided he was going to save them and not fire them.
For the next 6 months of the project, there were constant problems, most of which were personality conflicts. He realized as more time went on was that so much damage had been done between the client and the development team that it was just a lost cause. Both sides were unwilling to work with each other further.
Eventually, the client fired the entire company from the project, him included. Since Erik had put so much time into the project, he had accepted ownership of the project and its outcome. When it went down in flames, so did his career at that company and he was branded as someone who cannot deliver.
He realized that he should have fired the Boise team from the project – not the company. He should have realized that the project could not be saved.
When you are put into a new situation, you have the opportunity to remold the reality of that situation, but only if you act quickly.