Project management nightmare

Still emptying the house in preparation for the move. It’s odd what you stumble across.


I’m no artist, as you can see, but I drew this at a particularly frustrating time in my career. It cut through the complexity of the work and hit right at the cause of my dissatisfaction. Within weeks of articulating my feelings in this way, I’d started to plan my escape. (It was 1979 and I ended up at Personal Computer World.)

The participants in the picture are: in the middle, with his hands in the air, the team leader from a third party software house. His company had been chosen by my company, the hardware (and project management) supplier, to write some software for our mutual client.

The guy on the left is the client’s project manager who thought his job was to make ever more unreasonable demands. He’s the one turning the screw on the team leader. I’m the silly sod with his arms and legs outstretched trying to prevent the vice closing on the team leader. I’d been warning the client to stop pressuring because a) it was unproductive and b) I genuinely feared for the team leader’s sanity.

Sadly, the pressure didn’t stop and the team leader did, indeed, crack up. He was found gibbering to his radio.

I’ve never drawn a picture like it since. I guess because I’ve never been in such an impasse again. Thank goodness.

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