Friday, 31 May 2013

Filling a Gap

After a three day weekend that was periodically interrupted by work concerns I wandered in to the Nearest Circle of Hell on Tuesday to find that my concerns were valid...

... On his last day before disappearing for a week long holiday the Lead Project Manager asked me to pull together a set of slides for a Project Review on his first day back. I made reference to some of the new processes* associated with this review and got a blank stare in return. This was the cause of my concerns as my limited recent experiences were  enough to know that the new process was a complete and utter bastard with huge amounts of checklists, artifacts and prescribed deliverables that needed to be in place before the review call.

Having given the back story let's return to Tuesday morning where I made the acquaintance of the Bid Manager responsible for arranging this review. It is fair to say that he was as knowledgeable as the Lead Project Manager so I sent him off to do some research and get the review arranged. 

I now knew what my working week would be like. I would be struggling to pull together a vast raft of materials for a solution review by a team that are beyond Germanic in their nit picking, inflexible approach to procedures. This was not going to be fun and, to make matters worse, I know very little about the solution and the team of SMIs are so busy that they don't have time to do their own work let alone help me with mine. 

There was a brief ray of sunshine in to my dark world when I discovered that  next Monday is a Bank Holiday in Ireland and the review could not take place until next Tuesday. This would allow me some time to get the Lead PM back up to speed and another 24 hours to cobble some shit together for the review.

Having gained a little clarity on how shitty my week would be, I stepped though a metaphorical door and started to look at project costs. After twenty minutes in that room I rather fancied stepping back out and getting a metaphorical Bricklayer in to brick up the door way using quick drying cement. Basically the costs are monumental and there are still more to come in. The target price is minuscule and there is unlikely to be enough time to do anything but watch a big number get even bigger.**

I am not going to have a great week and, to be honest, I don't plan to document much of it here.

Wednesday was another day spent at the Nearest Circle of Hell attempting to document and describe the Beast for the review. I managed to make limited headway today and wandered out of the Office at five thirty with few ticks on my to do list.

One might ask why I wasn't burning the midnight oil on this deal and you can take your pick from these options:-

a) Budgetary issues mean that I need to limit time spent working on this deal
b) Most of my deliverables will not be available until the very last minute
c) I have no skin in the game
d) I have tickets for a Box at the Palace Theatre in Redditch to see Andy Parson
e) all of the above

I spent today working from home as I had an important 'phone call in my diary this morning. It is fair to say that a planning and communications cock up meant that I was fifteen minutes late for the call and had to be chased to dial in.

The call was OK but went nowhere near as well as I had hoped for and I have spent the past few days reliving the conversation and thinking I wish I had said ...


On a more positive note; the chap who bought our old pine table on eBay finally pitched up to collect the damned thing. As a result we now have two crisp fifties in the loose change pot and the Hall is now free of furniture. This means that we can now set up the home office in the Hall and make a start on the Study refurbishment.

Oh Joy! Today I was again in the Nearest Circle of Hell for an Executive Review of the project I am baby minding. I spent ten hours solid *** listening to a rehash of the review that took place last Wednesday. I have to say that good things came out of this review but it was far too late for the observations and recommendations to be implemented effectively when we have to have everything finalised by the end of next Monday. 

I eventually shut down the laptop and headed home at around six thirty in the evening and was extremely glad of the G&T that was presented to me when I walked in to the kitchen at home.

In an attempt to make me feel like I had achieved something this week I hung up the slate notice board that I had made over the past few days.

* I acquired brief overview of these on the last project
** The project price has to stabilise before you can start to trim it back.
*** I left the room on five occasions and each departure was for no more than 8 minutes. Two of the trips were for beverages, one to grab a sandwich and the other were to the Gents.

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