The Emperor is Naked! (Umm I mean, the project is behind schedule and over budget)

Let’s say that your consultants are reporting that your data warehouse is nearly complete and they are actually ahead of schedule. Your data team is busy validating the tables that have been populated in your data warehouse and documenting any discrepancies. A few days later your vendor reveals that the project is two weeks behind schedule. In the mean time your data team is finding an alarming number of errors in the data warehouse.

Yes, it’s time to say it…The emperor is naked! Everyone wants to remain respectful and a smart person knows not to piss off the vendors, but when there are some serious project issues happening and everyone seems to be avoiding the obvious, someone has to play the “bad guy” and ask what the hell is going on.

Here are some tips on how to best deal with this scenario…

  • Remain calm. Yes, there is a lot wrong with this scenario, but freaking out won’t get anything solved any quicker.
  • Make contact with everyone. As the project manager, send out a respectful email detailing the concerns that your data team has expressed. Be sure to only state facts, not opinions, and don’t blame anyone. Copy the email to everyone that is involved in this project, which may be 15 people or more. This is the first step in making sure everyone knows where you stand, including the vendors and the contractors.
  • Negotiate a new course of action. Ideally at this point your vendor will organize a meeting that involves all parties. If this doesn’t happen then you should request a meeting. By the end of the meeting you should have answers to questions like: What went wrong? What can we do to avoid this from happening again? What is our new course of action?
  • Move forward, mentally and physically. While you can’t exactly start fresh, you can move forward with your new plan. The solution may have been to add additional contractors to the project, or possibly even to hire different contractors. As long as an agreeable solution was reached, do your best to focus on implementing a successful business intelligence solution rather than focusing on all of the problems that you have had to deal with.

 

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