That’s how many hours I dropped into this project in one pay period…171.5 hours; roughly 85 hours per week.
Normally I’m a Technical Trainer (no, not precision, physical exercise…I train engineers and programmers how to do dangerous things with the Interwebs.). But THIS project called for me to put on the Designer hat (no, not the “making things pretty” hat.). I needed to take conceptual material and turn it into what we like to call Instructor Led Training (ILT) and make it understandable to anyone in the training, anywhere (I’m fortunate the team I am working with is also capable of supporting this goal!).
It could have gone (should have gone) much faster, been a cleaner process, but I’m a hired gun; I’m working in a team that is very unfamiliar with one another, and not every piece of our source material was ready–hell, some of it didn’t even exist! But, that’s why I was brought in; I know this stuff from the general to the most technical and I can teach it all, to anyone. This is going to sound terribly arrogant, but I am one of the very few people in the world who can do this type of work, on this scale, in this scope…on a world-wide stage.
Shocking, I know.
I’m not complaining. What I am writing about is the process and the experience thus far. What I learned about that process and the people I worked with was an invaluable paradigm shift; I’m used to leading teams, not necessarily being a part of one (and somewhat know for “not playing well with others” if they interfere with my team’s goals). My knowledge of business was cracked wide open and re-written (and I’ve started, negotiated funding for, and sold companies!). Patience and practicality were pressed upon me at times. The need to mandate and pretty much force process on others was required at other times; I had to do it all. Politics happened. I’m very familiar with those and negotiate said politics well (…kind of like an assassin with a knife negotiates a crowded shopping mall). There were moments I became a mouthpiece for others who were unable to speak their minds…because I’m the hired gun and I can say things others cannot.
The skill: Finesse — I forgot how useful that is! I’ve worked too long amidst Developers in a blunt, not easily offended world.
I guess these words are a bookmark, so there’s a record I can refer to when the lessons need to be reinforced.
171.5 in just over two weeks. High stakes, and even higher expectations (the customer is one that nearly every person in this world knows). Reputations will be re-written or erased on this one. Despite the risks and rewards, the experience (while nerve wracking) has taught me more than I could ever teach.