“Dan, you don’t have much time to make your project goals this month, much less your goals for the year. I don’t know what you can do to change the direction you are heading. You must close the project with Tucson Staffing!”
“Bill, I understand the importance of this project, but the odds are stacked against me. The decision to go into production is not even in Karen’s hands over there. It is with their top brass. What am I supposed to do?”
“You better think of something. You are making me and the office look bad. Not closing this project this month would be devastating.”
“Okay. I’ll see what I can do…I think,” I dejectedly said to myself.
Back at my desk I was trying to determine what to do. I worried not so much about how I got into this thicket, but how I was going to get out.
Before the meeting on Thursday Bill needlessly reminded me that we had to close this project.
“Bill. Dan. How are you today?”
“Great,” I replied. “How is your day going?”
“To be honest, it isn’t going very well. It’s no secret to you that we are interested in changing vendors. It has little to do with you or the project services you provide.”
I glanced at Bill.
“In fact,” she continued, “the reason we are looking to change is because Susan, my manager, has some personal reasons for wanting to shelve this project.”
“What can we do to help?”
“If you could help me with my quarter-end reports, it would save me some embarrassment and maybe help this project to close.”
“Okay. How does this save you some embarrassment?” I asked.
“I mistakenly reported the 1st quarter numbers to our actuary instead of the 2nd quarter numbers. If I get this quarter’s numbers early then I will have extra time to balance my reports and explain the differences.”
“How did this become part of the issue of possibly not closing the project?”
“Because, Dan, I let my management think that this was your fault and not mine.”
Taken aback, I arched my eyebrows and took a deep breath. I hid my displeasure and moved forward.
“I see,” I said calmly. “We can get the reports to you quickly this quarter and I’ll ensure that we provide the ongoing reports 2 days earlier than planned at no additional cost.”
“Thanks, Dan. I’m sorry for this.”
“Dan,” Bill said afterwards, “Karen was willing to let you, and our company, take the hit for her mistake. You handled yourself well and probably saved the project. I appreciate what you did. Forgive me?”
“Gladly, Bill. Now about my pay increase…”
“You are really feeling your oats today, Dan. Can we discuss this next Friday?”
I smiled. It was good to be back in greener pastures.
About the Author:
Dan Vickers PMP
Project Manager/Program Manager/Implementation Leader
CS STARS LLC (a Marsh Company)
Dan Vickers, a project leader at CS STARS, has worked with a wide variety of clients in multiple industries: Banking, Insurance, Staffing, and Manufacturing. He began in project management in 1996, was certified as a PMP in 2003, and has led hundreds of projects from start to finish. He works in a fast-moving, multi-client, multi-team environment delivering risk management software solutions to clients across the country at CS STARS. He currently performs program management for numerous projects in an effort to efficiently impact the organization’s bottom line. In addition, he leads project management webinars to other project managers from around the world. Managing multiple projects simultaneously and effectively is his way of life.