Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1, 2009 – Going Covert, Part 1

Day 1 – It should have been an easy operation: go in, implement the update and get out. But it was anything but easy. It led to the Incident. Years from now I’m sure the Resource remaining with the Company may laugh about it, but this week the PMO was hit hard. The Head was chopped…gone. They pulled rank, brought her a box to go with the termination speech and brought in a Yes Man.

It may have been better if the whole unit had been pulled out. At least then we could land somewhere else and possibly do some good.

And this was supposed to be the year everything went right.

Day 2 – Made it to Friday without suffering the fate of the Head. I’ll regroup over the weekend and start fresh on Monday.

Day 5 – Overheard joking in the Development quadrant this morning. Someone said the Head had it coming. Overstepped her bounds and tried to call the Management to task for not following the Processes. IT’S A LIE! They were waiting for her to fail. Then they were all over her like flies on road kill. Stupid thing is we tried to warn her, but she didn’t see it coming.

Now the shuffle starts. I’ve been demoted from the PMO and reassigned to the Project Management squad. I knew too much to stay in the PMO but not enough to get rid of me completely. The patsies they are putting into the PMO certainly won’t push too hard or ask the wrong questions.

I’m ok for now. Gotta keep my head down, do the Job. It’s been a while since I had a full time PM roll, but I’m sure it will come back quickly.

Day 6 – Looks like I’m heading to the front lines: high profile, troubled project in the heat of battle. I suspect when he handed me the Binder, Management wanted me to think the smirk on his face was congratulatory. It wasn’t. This is a win-win for him. If by chance I survive and win the battle, the Company profits. If I fail, Management has a ready made reason to push me out. It would probably make him happy if I pulled the trigger on my own.

Day 8 – Been looking through the Binder. The previous PM didn’t do much. We’re supposed to be in Design, but there isn’t any evidence that the Requirements are complete. The Schedule looks like someone took the template and blew a big hole in it before throwing names against it like rotten vegetables at that house down on 3rd street. Not pretty.

Based on the Charter…which was never approved…we have a deadline. No real objective or clear direction. Just a deadline.

I’m assuming the previous Project Manager won the lottery…or got another job. Haven’t even heard what his name was.

Did meet the Team, though. Some of them seem pretty sharp.

Day 9 – It’s Friday again. With a long weekend of Planning ahead of me I suspect I won’t get much sleep. Entering the sleep-depravation phase. I wonder how long before the water-boarding starts.

I made the connection today. This is the project the PMO wasn’t allowed to review. It was stamped “Critical” and encouraged to “not let the Processes get in the way of progress.” Looks like it lived up to its calling because it did go critical…nearly nuclear.

And now it’s all mine.

Jump to Going Covert Part 2.

NOTE: On January 12, Computerworld published an article I wrote entitled Covert PMO. This blog entry is a fictional account based on the Project Manager in that article. Any resemblance to anyone from my past, present or future is purely coincidental.


Josh said...

I like this! As I started reading I began to see what the next entry would reveal, then the next....

It sounds like a few individuals in the management chain supported project management, but the company culture is not there. Based on “not let the Processes get in the way of progress.” it sounds like pm is seen as unnecessary overhead to many.

Josh Nankivel

Thomas Cutting said...

Don't go trying to read ahead!

XL Brokerage said...

I really enjoy reading this blog!

Leslie Ventura said...

Great article and in some instances - quite true! Thanks for writing and sharing it - it put a few smiles on my PM face ;)