Characteristics a Slalom Consultant
November 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Last year I read Microsoft guru, public speaker, and author Scott Berkun’s latest book. His revised edition of Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management is a fun, easy read about how he developed his PM skills (including many soft skills) as he grew and developed at Microsoft Corporation.
The following paragraph is from his chapter on What To Do When Things Go Wrong. I was struck by how closely his words define what I think the expectations of a Slalom consultant are:
Taking responsibility for something doesn’t make it your fault: it means that you will be accountable for resolving the situation. Many people fear taking responsibility because they don’t want to be held accountable and put at risk for reprimand. A good [Slalom consultant has] the opposite disposition: in matters involving teams, [they] … seek out responsibility and use it to help the team and the project succeed. If relieving an engineer or tester of fear of blame will get [them] a better solution, or the same solution faster, [they will] gladly take the trade. If [our client manager] is any good, taking responsibility for a problem may earn [Slalom] praise. By lending real responsibility to the problem, [we] instantly make the problem less dangerous to the project.
We are accountable for more than just what our role is defined as and more than the specific tasks a client asks us to do. At Slalom, we are senior, experienced consultants; that is why clients have brought us in. We are not hesitant about stepping up and taking on something that will help our client “get to done” more quickly or more efficiently. We are accountable for our work and the work of our teams–even if when we are not the project manager.
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