Monday, June 27, 2005

My brain hurts

So.... I performed the "Resource Deployment Manager" role at work last week.

It meant I had to travel down to Hursley every day from where I live in East London. 2 hours door-to-door in each direction is a long time to spend travelling :-( It did give me a lot of time to read the paper, think, do some work, sleep...

I am used to consulting with customers in a fairly linear manner - I can work on one thing at a time and concentrate solely on that. The RDM role, by contrast, relies on being able to juggle twenty things at once.

Typical example: regional teams are escalating requests to me. I need extra information and, in parallel, I investigate who may be able to help. We may also need funding - so I need to get those wheels in motion. In parallel, a tentative engagement from last week comes back and gets firmed up. Damn... that means the consultant I wanted to assign to the new opportunity is no longer available. I then get a phone call asking for an urgent answer to a request that I haven't even seen yet. I call a few consultants who are at client sites but who are scheduled to complete in the next few days. Understandably, they're reluctant to talk for long and, in any case, they don't have an exact skills match. So I check with our sister team in Germany, put out a feeler to a deeply technical tech-sales team who sometimes can help and give a heads-up to the team in the US to whom we sometimes escalate. And this is in the first 10 minutes of getting into the office.

It was quite enjoyable really - but I'd need to develop more robust time management skills and a thicker skin. The only way to really be successful in that kind of role is to find some way of taking a strategic view and doing some longer-term planning. The guy who does it - and the rest of the management team - are very good at this, but it is something I would have to learn

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