Sunday, May 21, 2006
Ta Da! I'm Back!
Hello World. Good to see you all again. I'm happy to say that I'm glad to be back on solid ground again... with trees.... and vinyl siding... and pork. Thanks to all of you who kept in contact with me while I was away. It was awesome to have you all to talk to and to keep me "virtual" company during my travels. I had a lot of interesting posts on the blog while I was gone, and I hope that you'll all continue to keep up with me on there. It's nice to have the communication. So, What's the deal? Well, we were in Libya for almost three months, and it was definitely an interesting portion of my life that I won't ever forget. It looks like I'm going back in three weeks... I can't decide if I'm overjoyed or exhausted by that idea. Honestly though, after getting some time to enjoy the ameneties of home, there are things that I miss about the place. The lack of high-tech innovation was a real pain, but at the same time it was a bonding aspect too. All my guys and I would go to dinner each night and regale each other with stories of our lives, share embarrassing moments, exaggerate the good ones, and just generally spend time with each other. It was a neat thing to experience that most people don't take the time to do over here where our lives are always on-the-go. From the work aspect, I'm very proud of how we did. My teams all performed great. These are a great bunch of guys to be able to work with. I'm very lucky to have the staff I have over there. Now that we're back for a few weeks, I'm under a major time crunch to get things ready for trip number two. This trip won't be anywhere near as long as the last one. This time I'm hiring about 5 to 7 more guys to go over with us. We need more hands and more people if we are to be able to get things done in a timely manner and get home our scheduled time. We are looking to leave on the 6th or 7th of June and return back on the 30th. (Hint, if you know anyone who wants to travel overseas.....) Most of you know I was promoted to Project Manager mid way through the first trip. Managing a project of multi-million dollar proportions on-the-fly, when it's been in development for over two years, is NOT a fun task to take on. I wasn't really sure how my previous skills were going to help me overcome some of the problems the previous three PM's had experienced. However, at this point, I'm the only project manager that the customer has specifically requested to return, which makes me feel good. The client company emailed my CEO and asked specifically to have me come back to handle things and get the project finished, so I'm really glad that we performed as well as we did. Personally, I can't take the credit for the success of this one. The decisions I made were clear ones to me: most of the issues we had were with communication between the customer and with our implementation team. I just made sure to put myself between the two of them and prevent any of the wasted work, redundant design labor, and impossible task assignments they were being asked to do, which freed my teams up to perform their jobs the way they know best. They did it all. The guys I went over there with were awesome. I have a great team that can do just about anything in the world they want to, and that made all the difference. Yes, there are lots of things to tell that I'm skipping here.. I know. Ask me something... I've told so many stories since I got back that I'm not sure what I have and haven't told everyone. Just ask.. and I'll be happy to post. PLEASE stay in touch, all of you! I'd love to hear from you. (Sassenach, you're falling WAY behind you slacker!) I'll post some local pics to share our return celebrations with you all as soon as I finish this post. Love you all.. talk to you soon.