Project Management

The Outsiders

Brad Egeland is an IT/project management consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management and project management experience leading initiatives in manufacturing, government contracting, gaming and hospitality, retail operations, aviation and airline, pharmaceutical, start-ups, healthcare, higher education, not-for-profit, high-tech, engineering and general IT.

Most of us hum along managing our projects in a matrix IT environment utilizing the best resources we have available. And these resources we’re managing have been assigned to our projects by the powers that be in the organization. Am I right? It’s all about the resource pool. It’s all about who is available when you need them. It’s all about “The best skill set I can get now!” And it’s rarely about the best skill set that I need, period.

What if it has to be about the best skill set that I need, period? Then what? Send someone to training? Will that solve my software performance problem that my client is experiencing during user acceptance testing (UAT) at their site tomorrow? Will that fix the problem in time for next week’s scheduled deployment? Is my project headed for a climatic catastrophic conclusion of cinematic similarity? Can you say, “Holy Missed Deadline, Batman!”?

If you’ve come to the conclusion that your project likely needs outside help, you’ll need to consider a few things before making your pitch to the necessary senior leadership and actually bringing in an outside consultant. The key considerations are:

Corporate policies
This first consideration may just kill the request from the outset. Does your company do this often? Have you ever seen it happen in your organization …

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"It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go."

- Bertrand Russell