Friday, May 1, 2015

Which Envelope?

Old joke:

New, wet-behind-the-ears Corps project manager (you can substitute whatever profession you want) sits at his desk for the first time.  There is a folder on the desk, with a message from the previous PM:

"Dear new PM: You will run into some crisis moments on this project.  When you hit one, open the envelopes in succession."

First crisis comes 9 months after the PM arrives, and the new PM opens the first envelope.  Inside is a small slip of paper. "Blame me."

The PM stands the next day in front of the Colonel.  Explains that he is working to fix what the previous PM had mucked up. 

The Colonel buys the story, and new PM gets the reprieve from the Colonel.  Six months later, the PM is hit with a second crisis.  Scheduled blown, budgets busted.  He opens the second envelope. "Blame the team."

The PM is now in front of the General.  He discusses at length the efforts that the team has done, but with each description is a subtle indication that the team is not doing its job.  The result is perfection.  The General is appeased, and gives more time and funds to complete the task.

A mere three months later, the next crisis hits - and it is a doozy.  The PM reaches for the final envelope.

"Prepare three envelopes."


1 comment:

Elizabeth Henderson said...

Working for the same agency - yep, I can see this…sad but true!