Posted by: Rob | October 22, 2009

The Job Track – Conclusion

Continuing on from part 3.

We talked about “natural break points” in the project; milestones where a hand off to another person could be smooth and seamless. He was going to talk to folks “up the food chain” to gauge receptiveness.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on getting my deliverables for the project into order and setting things up for an orderly transition. I’ve also been keeping AJ up to speed on developments as well as providing forecasts of the timing of my potential availability.

But, as is always the case it seems, circumstances began to intervene. Some late scope changes, introduced by management, on top of spending plan adjustments induced by the global credit crisis have introduced delay after delay. We’ve revised the project schedule and execution strategy several times now and deferred as much as we can without significantly affecting the project end date.

We’re still on target for completing the bulk of the engineering by the end of this year or early next year. Although some other contracts will still need to be engineered, they are smaller and this would be one of those “natural break points”, and the one I’ve been working toward.

However, a couple more circumstances have revealed themselves in the last one or two weeks. One is that the final authorization for my project is being further delayed. Because we didn’t get funding early enough this fall and also because winter came very early, we’ve pushed the start of field work out to next spring.

The other? We’re in the midst of a baby boom. I wrote briefly about this before, but it seems that about a third to half of our group is going out on maternity leave. Mat leaves here can be up to one year long. This means that the number of available engineers to whom I could hand off this project is dwindling.

My leader is now struggling with resources and, when I went to discuss recent developments with him, he said that he may have to look at external hiring. Unspoken, to some extent, was the fact that a backfill for me would also have to be an external hire. And, also unspoken, that is a difficult thing to convince business leadership is necessary in order to support a move such as the one I want to make. Interestingly, what was spoken was the dangling of another major project here – a plant modification with a scope estimated at $40 to 50 million. I think my leader hopes that would sway my interest sufficiently to make me give up on the mega-project.

It’s not. Remember exit strategy?

So, I believe that my leader will not be doing as much pushing for me from here on out. My only other hope is AJ. I sent him an e-mail outlining the latest developments and my impressions of the situation here. He knows I am willing to commit for the duration, which is out to 2014 or 2015, and includes a lengthy stay in the Middle East.

I am hoping that AJ can do some pulling.

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Responses

  1. sounds like they’re trying to hold onto you via ‘passive aggressive’ management… oh, and guilt.

    the staffing problem is not your problem. if they need to hire, they’ll hire. it would be wise of them to do so before you leave to allow overlap.

    i was able to do that once. accepted a temp assignment in another organization, informed the boss when i was leaving, and told him that if he wanted time to overlap, he might wanna think about advertising my current job pretty quickly…

    you may not have that lattitude, but you’re pretty resourceful. you’ll keep the pressure on…

  2. wouldn’t a $20,000 pay raise have been more effective to keep you there? no, i’m not saying you’re merely mercenary…

    hope all works out the way best benefits you and yours.


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