FinancialGuy Writes!

Over the last few weeks I have been involved in a pitch for comms and tech work for an EU lobbying organisation. No names, sorry.

The process has been the same with every other EU project I have been involved in pitching for:

1. The process to pitch has an extremely short timeline. This is urgent people!
2. The budget isn’t big enough for the work the organisation wants done. Dreams vs Reality.
3. The project is due to start just days after the application deadline. Management are going to hustle through a decision.
4. On decision deadline day everything is postponed by several weeks.
5. On the postponed decision deadline day, everything is postponed for a few more weeks.
6. The project was already due to start more than one month ago.
7. When it finally does begin, management will probably expect miracles, the cancelling of summer holidays and more to get results before a board meeting (which will probably be postponed).

Whats up with this?

This is the typical modus operandi of management in the EU space and it is ludicrous.

We have all read about the “war for talent” and how businesses are finding it hard to recruit and keep skilled workers in their organisations and how this is getting harder and harder as the years pass.

My hypothesis is that in the not too distant future, most EU and lobbying projects will simply grind to a halt. Few will start. Even fewer will complete.

The reality
One of my best friends is a very skilled database developer. I asked him to take a look at something for me a couple of weeks ago. I explained the problem and he guessed that he would need one or two days to really investigate the problem and fix it.

He put it in his diary for mid November!!! I knew he was busy but this is ridiculous.

To work on short notice EU projects, consultants tend to be brought in. With good reason, they often have a wide range of skills that these projects need to tap into. However, in the tech world (and what project does not need tech development or support?) there is just such high demand for the really skilled consultants that soon enough it just won’t be possible to hire people.

I have a long held theory that the decision making problems in the EU space comes down to the exercising of power. The executives need to be made to feel important. The faster people rush to put quotations and applications together and the longer they are forced to wait for a decision, the more powerful these executives feel.

One of the issues that most managers have yet to understand is that most developers already earn good money and only really want to work on projects they find “interesting”. If the work is not interesting, they can just quit and find another employer in the next couple of weeks. The next employer will probably pay them more too! In the meantime, they get a couple of weeks off – it’s all good!

My guess is that within the next couple of years executives will start to learn who really holds the power in the modern economy. Hint: it isn’t the executives.

These projects will have some sort of protracted decision making process and once everything is agreed upon, the consultants that will actually do the work will be too busy to even start. Management will be forced to double their budgets because to make the consultants quit one project to start another they will need some serious financial incentive.

Delivering projects late and over budget is the kind of error that executives are fired for…

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