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Leaving Projects

 
#1 Leaving Projects
26/10/2012 11:38

pistolyaddern

After 14 months on the same major transformation Programme I am rolling off onto something similar for another client. Conscious that as consultants we all experience the final stage of a team building i.e. Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing....Mourning!! I was wondering if other consultants ever feel slightly emotional when leaving projects they have been on for extended periods.

I thought I would be a bit more hard edged but have to admit that despite having endured some intense periods of work and ridiculous client requests I will really miss many of the people on site I have worked with.

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#2 RE: Leaving Projects
26/10/2012 11:59

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to pistolyaddern (#1)

I'd mostly be feeling sad because all those in-team relationships you established and "proving yourself" are now worthless.

You're chucked back onto Square 1 and have to do it all again.

That's why you gotta be in it for the money and nothing else: because, when the project is over and the team has disbanded, all that you're left with is the money.

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#3 RE: Leaving Projects
26/10/2012 12:17

pistolyaddern to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

Hard edged to the last.

I would not say that you take nothing away, as a minimum there are significant lessons learnt, great memories and deep relationships that can be drawn on in future. Also if nothing else I now have a network of people I can go for dinner/drinks with when I am next in the area.

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#4 RE: Leaving Projects
26/10/2012 12:54

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to pistolyaddern (#3)

OK, "nothing" is a slight exaggeration... but only a slight one.

Some comments follow. I'm just doing this to try and help us understand really just now nostalgic one should feel when a project ends.

"there are significant lessons learnt"

I'm not sure a bruised ego would be worth anything...

"great memories"

A holiday in Barbados is a great memory. Your first child's birth is a great memory. First date is a great memory. 80 hours a week of edits to PowerPoint decks, I would argue, is not really in the league of "great" memories.

deep relationships that can be drawn on in future.

Hmm. Debatable. Most of the team will be plebs you'll never speak to again after 5 years. They're only your "best buddy" so long as their appraisal relies on your input. After that - forget it. People on consultancy project teams are fickle.

"Also if nothing else I now have a network of people I can go for dinner/drinks with when I am next in the area."

How valuable is that really? Surely it's better so socialise with friends rather than work colleagues?

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#5 RE: Leaving Projects
26/10/2012 13:50

pistolyaddern to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#4)

Bushy eyebrows, your cynicism clearly runs deep. It always amazes me the number of people who go through projects and take no time out to enjoy themselves. On my project our small team used to go out often after work for drinks and had a great time with the client/wider team members.

In terms of lessons learnt, if your not developing on every engagement I always feel the failure lies with you, everybody, of every grade has something you can learn from. We did not spend 80 hours per week tweaking slide decks but did get involved in some genuinely interesting work.

Regards the great memories piece; of course the things you do in your personal life will always be superior, does not mean the things that happened at work can not also be funny or enjoyable. I can think of loads of things that have happened in the last 14 months that still make me chuckle.

Regards the people element, I've never understood why some cynical people feel that your workmates can never become friends. What does it matter how you first came across your friends, why do some people have a hierarhcy that implies that only those friends you met in certain locations are of value?

The deep relationships comment was more aimed at client network than internally but both remain valid.

If what your telling me is that your only positives from a long engagement focus on career advancement I say you are spending the overwhelming majority of your time in an ultimately unsatisfying way.

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#6 RE: Leaving Projects
26/10/2012 13:56

DiamondSea to pistolyaddern (#5)

I guess that cynicism of Bushy Eyebrow Partner is what it takes to make partner. Or, rather, what it takes to pretend you are one on an unverified online forum...

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#7 RE: Leaving Projects
26/10/2012 14:28

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to DiamondSea (#6)

Bushy eyebrows, your cynicism clearly runs deep.

It sure does.

It always amazes me the number of people who go through projects and take no time out to enjoy themselves.

I agree. That's why I always, without exception, insist that the juniors go home by 6.00pm.

On my project our small team used to go out often after work for drinks and had a great time with the client/wider team members.

Eurgh. Each to their own, but after a day at work, the last thing I want is to spend yet more time talking shop with people from work.

In terms of lessons learnt, if your not developing on every engagement I always feel the failure lies with you, everybody, of every grade has something you can learn from.

In the spirit of continuous learning, you should have used "you're" rather than "your" just then.

We did not spend 80 hours per week tweaking slide decks but did get involved in some genuinely interesting work.

OK, that is at least good to hear.

Regards the great memories piece; of course the things you do in your personal life will always be superior, does not mean the things that happened at work can not also be funny or enjoyable. I can think of loads of things that have happened in the last 14 months that still make me chuckle.

OK, that is good.

Regards the people element, I've never understood why some cynical people feel that your workmates can never become friends. What does it matter how you first came across your friends, why do some people have a hierarhcy that implies that only those friends you met in certain locations are of value?

Well... workmates come and go. There's too odd a dynamic going on to genuinely be friends with people from work, most of the time.

The deep relationships comment was more aimed at client network than internally but both remain valid.

Are the relationships truly "deep"? Or does it just seem like that at the time (when they want something from you)?

If what your telling me

Hmm. Again, it's "you're", not "your"! :-)

is that your only positives from a long engagement focus on career advancement I say you are spending the overwhelming majority of your time in an ultimately unsatisfying way.

No, I never focus on career advancement. That's too uncertain/dubious and far off. I just go for the short term cash benefit. If the cash is rolling in, then career advancement (which really is only a means to an end) takes care of itself.

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#8 RE: Leaving Projects
27/10/2012 08:35

Bravehearted to DiamondSea (#6)

Plus, I'm curious as to what kind of partner worth his/her salt spends so much time on a forum - posting with such voraciousness btw.

When exactly do you do your business development activities? You claim you dont do delivery - do you do any client smooching or advisory?

You certainly aren't justifying the thousands of pounds per day you are supposed to be worth as a partner.

Thus forgive if I'm slightly dubious as to your claim of position.

Or did you and a friend just register an LLP to your home address - in which case I guess you are technically a partner. Although it is closer to the same way my mum and dad are partners.

Serious query by the way - not having a go bushy partner.

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#9 RE: Leaving Projects
27/10/2012 10:23

unizm1980 to pistolyaddern (#1)

It is normal to feel emotional when it's time to move on, especially if you've built a good working relationship with your co-workers. Do make sure to write a farewell note to them. http://www.headhunt.com.sg/blog/index.php/how-to-write-a-farewell-email-for-your-coworkers They will highly appreciate it.

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#10 RE: Leaving Projects
27/10/2012 14:29

TripleTwistTrump to Bravehearted (#8)

No one with a sensible head will take what Bushy eyes writes seriously - he/she could be an entry level grad having fun so I'd just read this character's comments for the fun of it - nothing more, nothing less as it's not worth anyone's serious time :)

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#11 RE: Leaving Projects
29/10/2012 08:43

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bravehearted (#8)

Plus, I'm curious as to what kind of partner worth his/her salt spends so much time on a forum - posting with such voraciousness btw.

Well, I just like to have this forum running in the background on my PC, and whenever I fancy a very brief break without leaving the desk, I just Alt-Tab across. I have also become somewhat of an iPhone e-mail addict too lately. He he.

When exactly do you do your business development activities? You claim you dont do delivery - do you do any client smooching or advisory?

OK, you are mistaking the difference between being what is, effectively, a business owner versus an employee. Employees have to work hard. For business owners, it's optional - subject to ensuring that the business continues to be viable and generates sufficient profit. Partners are not, in effect, required to "work hard" unless they want to or unless there is pressure from their fellow partners to up their profitability...

You certainly aren't justifying the thousands of pounds per day you are supposed to be worth as a partner.

Again, let's get back to some basic economics here. My income is determined by market forces, not by how hard I work. In effect, I have justified myself to Adam Smith's invisible hand of capitalism. Should I have to justify my fee rates to anybody else? The government, perhaps? Or maybe a focus group of BBC left wing liberal loonies?

Thus forgive if I'm slightly dubious as to your claim of position.

That's OK. It doesn't matter who I am on here anyway!

Or did you and a friend just register an LLP to your home address - in which case I guess you are technically a partner. Although it is closer to the same way my mum and dad are partners.

No, we didn't do that. Any in any event, you don't have to have a LLP to be a partner. You can just make an informal business agreement with somebody and then call yourself a partner if you like.

Serious query by the way - not having a go bushy partner.

It's fine, I love answering questions!

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