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Sunday, March 30, 2014

First Project, First Success

     This was an orphan project, wandering aimlessly back and forth among four stakeholding corporate partners. It didn’t meet the budgetary threshold for the sponsoring organization’s formal project management, and it didn’t fall into any other practical slot.
     Still, it was important for other reasons, not least the company’s reputation with the other partners.
     A restless sales manager in that organization was just completing project management training he had undertaken to support a possible career change. Well, his boss said, how about seeing how you can do on this project?
     Here’s how it went, in his words:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Management by Problem

When one of us got into a messy situation on the job, the boss liked to show up and stand nearby, watching silently. An accusing presence behind your back, just what you needed.

When you finally got out of it, he would invite you to his office, where he would subject you to a long, slow recitation of the obvious – carefully avoiding any useful advice and most definitely not taking any managerial responsibility.

You’d think it might have dawned on him somewhere along the way that, if we were all that incompetent, there must have been a deep flaw in the hiring process. I never thought to ask him that, but I’m sure he would have instantly fingered the company salary policy and/or any number of causes other than his own ill will and incompetence.