I took over a project at work that was, to borrow a phrase from Gordon Ramsey, in the shit. My objective was to get it back on track and done. It has been in progress since May, and it was scoped to be a 6-8 week project. It’s in the shit.
Two weeks ago, my predecessor as project manager scheduled a meeting to train a group of managers on the application being deployed. Five minutes into the meeting, the sales manager flips out. He says this is a waste of time because what he is seeing is meaningless and incomplete. He continues his rant by yelling at the vendor, threatening to withhold payment, and using this as the example as to why he cannot be successful. We tried talking him down, but he kept saying over and over again, that he was looking in the system right now, and it is incomplete. He didn’t want to review it as it group. He didn’t want to talk through his expectations. He just wanted it done.
So, we leave the meeting. The current project manager is at a loss. Her morale is very low. She looks at all of the work that the vendor and the team at our company put into getting it ready and feels it is once again wasted.
Fast forward two week to today – I am now leading the project. I speak to the same sales manager who is more calm, but wanted it done yesterday. He follows up with a guy on the project team and together they review what he wants to see out of the new system. Midway through their conversation, this guy realizes that said sales manager isn’t seeing what he should. Turns out, the page that was “incomplete and meaningless” was blank. The system displays an odd looking thing that isn’t an error message and isn’t really any indication that something is wrong. The guy on the project helps him get squared away – and said sales manager is gushing. He loves it. It’s perfect. This is exactly what he wants. He’s fine that we’re still pulling it together – can we roll out what we have tomorrow? Ahh…sweet irony….he could have had it two weeks ago….but his ego and tantrum got in the way. Wonder if he’ll actually eat the crow?