Throwback Thursday: Never mind...

This IT project is highly visible, and management is taking no chances. "To ensure that it is managed properly, execs contract with a highly advertised consulting firm to provide a thundering herd of expert project managers," says a pilot fish on the project.

"Never mind the fact that our corporate PMs usually do quite well."

As is always the case, there's lots of time every day that the regular employees spend on nonproject tasks they're required to do. Fish doesn't report that as project time, and he instructs the rest of his team to do the same.

And it's not long before, one by one, the thundering herd arrives at fish's desk. "You're short on hours! Why aren't you reporting your time?" each one asks.

When fish explains that those hours aren't actually project time, the response is swift: "I don't care. You're a project resource -- you should be reporting all of your time against the project!"

Eventually, the issue climbs the chain of command -- and comes back down in an all-employee memo from the big bosses: Report all your time against the project.

And so they do.

"Weeks go by until, finally, we're all in a meeting attended by the execs," fish says. "When asked to explain the ridiculous cost overruns, the thundering herd tries to finesse their way out if it.

"I couldn't resist one humble question: 'Excuse me, but they told us to report all of our time against the project, even though we are working on other tasks. Might that have something to do with it?'

"I hope they're all doing well since they've been put out to pasture. But I think the grass is a little greener over here."

Sharky bills his time to one project: telling true tales of IT life. Send yours to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt every time I use one. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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