b-school, Management, Project Management, Projects, Thoughts

After a dreadful meeting (when did people stop listening to each other?)

I’m too busy these days. That’s why my blogging activity has been errr… nullified. And having to cope with my MBA is far too harsh. A lot of side activities have suffered a lot. Right now I feel I’m even paying too much for my gym!

This morning I’ve had a surprising meeting. I can’t talk too much of it because of confidentiality reason, and because I know that at least one of the people in the meeting checks this blog (hi!). But the thing is something like what follows:

We had a project. We changed it a couple of years ago to accommodate a different corporate sensibility. We excluded some parts that had to be provided by the “official” corporate provider. Now it’s getting late and we really need those parts, and the central sensibility ends up saying that it’s not sensible to provide those parts, that should have never spun off the project.

Which are the alternatives? either find a compromise or change the project again. But the project would suffer from delays if it had to change again. Too late for changes.

What surprises me is that the reasons that I exposed today were also exposed two years ago. Then they weren’t a problem. Now they are. Why? The devil is in the details. And when people have to start assuming responsibilities for their decisions… they baulk out.

Why should we be discussing philosophy in a late execution phase? I expected a quarrel over completion dates, that’s true, but never a review of the bottom line. Didn’t we talk about all this before? Didn’t we understand each other?

Is the proximity of completion a necessity for people to effectively listen and think practically? Is it true that from the distance everything is possible and people just don’t care? Is it the way we do things around here?

If people could really share in advance, listen to each other, try to understand… things could be different. But I guess is easier to let the time sleep by. And to assume that an old idea of yours just matures and becomes universal with the march of time. Then you slam it on someone else’s face and say “I already said that, two years ago!”

But even when that happens, the game of retreats is utterly useless. I firmly believe that people should be accountable to themselves, and my duty is to still be constructive and try to push things ahead amid the unexpected difficulties.

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