Another busy day, but ‘home again, home again’
I started early today…I can’t say ‘bright and early’, as it was well before dawn. After a jog, breakfast and check-out, I’m at the client site just after 7am. There is plenty to do today because it’s the last day on-site for a while. Our immediate client contact is on vacation next week and, with the Thanksgiving holiday, there’s very little reason for me to travel, so I’ll be working from our Manhattan office next week.
The most immediate task is finishing the presentation for our meeting at 1pm. My colleague and I review the presentation, combing through grammar, spelling, formatting, etc. We discuss our recommendations one last time so we’re aligned and we meet with our immediate client contact to discuss our approach to the meeting. We’ve kept her well-informed of our progress throughout, so what we recommend comes as no surprise. But, today’s meeting is with her boss, so making sure she’s on-board with what we have to say, before we discuss it with her boss, is a critical step in our process.
We get coaching, editorial comments and questions from her, but no resistance. We do some quick editing, and send off the final presentation. In the hour or so prior to the big meeting, I send off a few emails. I request hours and expense data from the others on the project, so I can fill in the details of a budget report we submit to our immediate client every Friday. I respond to an email from the account leader for our client…one of my bosses from Accenture, but the individual that manages all work being done for my current client. She wants to make sure all is going according to plan, since she’s isn’t on-site this week. Last but not least, I email my other boss, the head of our North American sustainability practice. He’s asking about the current state of my project and how we might leverage our experience with my current client at other key accounts.
Lunch today is little more than a candy bar and soda from the nearest vending machine as there’s not enough time to go back and forth across campus to the cafeteria. Meeting time arrives and my colleague and I, along with five people from the client, assemble in a small conference room. The hour flies by, but it’s an engaging conversation. We present our data and recommendations as clearly and concisely as we can and address most, though not all, of the questions presented. There’s no significant resistance to our recommendations, but some hesitation. The direction we get from our Project Sponsor (the individual paying our bill) is to schedule follow-up meetings with two of the individuals in the business unit most impacted by our recommendations. He agrees with what we have to say, but will need them to agree and provide additional direction before we commit to further data collection and analysis. It’s all part of the process, but sometimes the process can involve more steps than you expected.
All things considered, it’s a productive hour. We had questions that got answered, we got direction on the immediate steps we need to take in order to advance the project, and we got consensus agreement from a small group of client executives that the path we’re on is correct.
After the meeting, follow-up sessions are added to the calendar; emails are sent off to the other team members, advising them of the overall outcomes; and a call is placed to our client account manager. I also check on the weather and flight schedule and everything looks like it’s on track for me to get home at a reasonable hour tonight.
Thursday ends with an evening flight home. There’s nothing quite like the Manhattan skyline at night from 10,000 feet. Reaching my apartment, I repeat ‘home again, home again, jiggity jog’, something my mom and I said when I was a kid, each and every time we pulled into the family driveway from a long car ride. Tomorrow is the last day of the work week. Hooray! After the past few days, I may need a foreign journal study break to end of the week, but more on that tomorrow.