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This Week In Consulting: Things Left Unsaid After A Project Ends

This Week In Consulting: Things Left Unsaid After A Project Ends

Congratulations. You’re done. You made it through the project. You made it through-uuu-uuu. Depending on how long the engagement was, either you feel charged, energized, and ready for the next challenge, or you’re straight up ready for retirement. But no matter the circumstances, projects are just like life: shitty at times, good at others, and there will always be things left unsaid. Here are a few of those to your project team.

To the PMO:
I know you feel important having finished up your first project. This must be a big moment for you. Really. You did a great job giving building access, providing VPNs, and showing people where the bathrooms are. I’ll always remember explaining to you the difference between agile and waterfall methodology and you looking at me like I was speaking an African tongue clicking language. Come to think of it, you had that look on your face a lot of the time.

I’m glad we also taught you how the mute button worked. It was really embarrassing that one time we heard someone taking a piss on a call. We all secretly knew it was you. My one piece of advice is to try and not be on your phone 25/7. I understand the GroupMe you have with all your new best friends from orientation is the most important thing in your life right now, but so is compiling status updates and not looking like a hungover middle schooler in front of the client.

To the BA:
Spoiler Alert: your “secret” hookup with the partner wasn’t a secret after all. It was cute you thought it was, though. People aren’t blind to the fact that you both coincidentally took the same vacation dates last month, and that your use of terms like “deep dive” and “polishing that deck” significantly increased whenever he was onsite.

But that aside, you did a good job writing down word for word what the customer told you when gathering requirements instead of trying to figure out what the customer actually needs – which is basically what I’ve come to expect from BAs. Your final deliverable was clean and your user stories crisp, regardless of who was going down on you when you wrote them. That being said, good for you for finding an alternate path up the corporate ladder. Get it? Alternate path? Ha.

To the Architect:
Man, I fucking love you. Your complete inability to read social cues, fake laughter, or pretend to care about someone’s weekend hands down made you my favorite person to work with on this project. You always knew you were the smartest person in the room, regardless of which SVP waltzed into the war room touting their Bachelors in Computer Science from 1974. You were the gatekeeper to the client’s dreams, and nothing put a smile on my face more than you responding to a 10-page email with the mere words: “Not technically feasible.” No salutations, no signature, no regard for the client relationship. It was pure gold. You keep up the emotionless demeanor, man. Oh, and your business card that reads “Java Architect (not the brewing kind)” is straight fucking fire.

To the Project Manager:
Thank you for thinking that obtaining status reports every 30 minutes would ultimately save this project from complete destruction. Your ability to make meeting titles as vague as possible without any sort of agenda is truly unmatched.

Remember that time you filled my day with back-to-back 2-hour meetings entitled “Project Plan,” “Discuss Deliverables,” “Program Scope,” and “Timeline” in that order? I almost drove my rented B-Class Economy Ford Focus off a bridge that day.

I also appreciated your extremely lengthy and overly wordy emails at 8 p.m. on a Friday, which contained nothing less than bold, italicized, underlined, bold red, bold blue, and anywhere from 10-point to 48-point font. But in all honesty, though, I’m sorry for the shit we must’ve put you through.

And I’m sorry if the client ever gets audited. We literally got zero approvals on anything.

To the Partner:
Ah yes, always saving the best for last. I loved learning on the first, second, and every subsequent day of our project that you got your MBA from Columbia. But making the PMO fill out your expense reports and rewarding her with glasses of Moscato and your soon-to-be-welcomed advances didn’t help the team at all.

What did help the team was you finally bringing on that one male associate. It definitely made your goal of creating an Aryan project full of ex-models from Princeton less obvious. Sometimes I’d take personal bets with myself on whether or not you’d wear your wedding ring to the office that day. That was enjoyable for me.

But in all honesty, I had fun working with you. Even when you got too drunk one time and asked all the women on the team to refer to you as “Papi.” Your flirtatious and charming nature with everything from a TSA agent to a paper towel was nothing short of extraordinary, and definitely something I will take with me as I start selling work of my own. I can’t wait to make the kind of money you do, so I can wear Italian leather bound shoes and brag about them every chance I get. Don’t know how long you’ll last at a straight-edged factory shop like this, but let’s definitely stay in touch.

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