Re: HELP TW --> Manager in onejump. Documentation Management

Subject: Re: HELP TW --> Manager in onejump. Documentation Management
From: Peter Collins <peter -dot- collins -at- BIGFOOT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 16:22:35 +1000

Jack wrote "Thank you for your reply. Lot's of help. You're welcome to
keep it coming."

Dear Jack,
thank you for your kind words. By coincidence I have just had lunch
with another private consulting colleague and he has reminded me that
if you are in the client firm on contract it can be intensely lonely,
and that is one reason for working in or from a group, even a small
regional network of like-minded professionals. The internet is great,
but it lacks the physical immediacy of a shared beer, coffee or meal.

If you have been placed by an agency you may be able to get some
support from the agency. They may already know the clients and be able
to help you with personality thumb-nails or advice. In extremis they
may rather have their rep attend a meeting with you, to get things
back away from the client's dream-land into the real world, than see
the project fail and their reputation suffer collateral damage.

Having such intercession ought not be felt as if it were a personal
failure. Of course it's not 'us and them' but it is true that the
contractor is totally outnumbered on the client site. Before I
retired, when I still worked from within the partnership, it was
commonplace to have a fellow consultant or partner, at or above our
own level, attend some review meeting(s). You asked for this when
things weren't going as well as you liked.

Why get a visitor to the meeting? Nominally, to provide a QA function.

- to get a reading on the meeting as another pair of eyes, more likely
to be objective.
- to see fair play, which is more likely with a witness there as it
reminds all the players to be reasonable.
- to intercede with an outside view if the meeting gets into a
- to advise you afterwards, if it all seems unrecoverable, that you
are not imagining things and that it is every bit as bad as you think.
- to help you plan (or scheme) the corrective or withdrawal tactics.
- and of course to tell you if it is actually you who have been
causing or exacerbating the problems - for sometimes, in an emotional
atmosphere, any one of us may be pushed to less than ideal behaviour!

I don't know if this, too, helps. I should have mentioned it earlier.
Peter Collins, VIVID Management Pty Ltd,
26 Bradleys Head Road, MOSMAN 2088, Australia
+61 2 9968 3308, fax +61 2 9968 3026, mobile +61 (0)18 419 571
Management Consultants and Technical Writers
email: peter -dot- collins -at- bigfoot -dot- com ICQ#: 10981283
web pages:

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