Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drunken Encounter

Story Sent,

Okay - this should be an interesting blog. The story I'll relate happened early in my career as a newly minted project manager. If it matters, that was back in the 70's, I'm now retired. I was one of 5 project managers tasked with developing a significant portion of a huge mainframe system. We reported directly to the VP of Product Development in a mid-sized software company. Our leader sold the clients and more importantly, upper management (all the other execs) on an enhancement project while what he had us doing was developing a major new system. Along with this effort came a wave of new reporting, designed to inform all about our status and current resource requirements. It soon became apparent to me that the staffing for my segment of the project was woefully inadequate so I religously filled out all of the paperwork so that I would communicate effectively. This went on for weeks and weeks and was a laborous process because it entailed re-estimating all of the tasks and reporting in detail. This took virtually all of my time but resulted in squat - no one who should have responded to what was essentially a cry for help bothered to carry their end of the bargain and dip down to see why I was reporting what I was reporting. I eventually figured out that I was wasting my time, which could be better spent picking up some of the actual development tasks to try to dig out of the hole my team found itself in. It came to a head one night in a bar, I found myself sitting at a table with the VP and after more than a few beers, I unloaded. He responded by asking why I never said anything and I told him in no uncertain terms that if he would read the damn reports he designed he would have known. I eventually got the help I needed but it took a drunken encounter with the executive to make it happen.

The End,

Thanks for reading. Keep this blog relevant by leading IT managers and actual workers here for laughs, insight, and further debates. Continue to submit your management stories to stupid.it.managers[(at)]gmail.com. Your identity will be kept private.

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