Friday, October 01, 2004

 

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a consultant

Yesterday's missive told the tale of a subcontractor placed by Respected Employer at a very large and demanding investment bank who unfortunately had doctored his resume to claim that he was at a similar client for the past several years, while instead he was a guest of another Large Institution, commonly referred to as The Big House. While one would logically assume that such events are extremely rare, a meeting discussing staffing and selling consulting engagements revealed a not entirely dissimilar event that gave Respected Employer another black eye with a major Wall Street client. It seems that Respected Employer in the course of assisting said Major Financial Institution had set up that vilest of entities, the Program Management Office, and named a certain individual as the Project Executive for the entire program. The gentleman in question was not only PMI-certified (certainly an offense in itself which warrants todt durch den strang), but actually quite beloved by the client, as he was slick, said all the buzzwords, delivered all the warm and fuzzies they required to make them comfortable with the client, and had excellent qualifications. The slight problem occurred when the gentleman in question, after setting up the PMO, and installing himself as Lord and Master of The Realm, suddenly informed the client and Respected Employer that he would be taking a Leave of Absence for a year. It seemed that his plea bargain deal for some offense in a previous life (allegedy relating to bribery, by the water cooler gossip) had finally been nailed down...

In a rather amusing turn of events, Respected Employer has repeatedly vouchsafed that it would not attempt to enter a certain line of business as a provider, preferring instead to provide the professional services for the extant providers and consumers of said line of business to implement and improve same. Indeed, one major eight figure deal we have pending is contingent on this very promise. It seems however, that said promise is only the public face, as there's an initiative (translate that as there's some funny money left in the budget, not real dough that would go to wasteful expenditures such as raises) to develop a turnkey shrinkwrap version of said line of business. Of course, it'll be about as turnkey as getting a kit plane, and require loads of professional services to actually implement. One slight problem is that in our very large firm, there are about three people who really understand what needs to be done from a business perspective, and they're viewing this as a plumbing exercise. Oh well, if it flies it'll make a great ongoing revenue stream, as the customers for said line of business cordially hate the providers and would ditch them in an instant if a fungible substitute for the product was available sans le risque. And of course we'll market it with the same customer relationship management techniques that have made Peruvian Marching Powder derivatives such a successfull commodity.

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