We’re entering the home stretch, and our deadline has been preponed by two days.
What’s more, our client requirements have shifted somewhat over the past week.
On top of all this, we need to plan and run a Community Day this weekend.
In other news, we made the news this week!
If I was working alone, I’d be way more than a little worried. But with a strong team pulling together, what seems impossible at first, just might be feasible. I’m under no illusion that the next four or five days won’t be tremendously busy and challenging, but overall, it doesn’t feel as bad as it might or should.
John once pointed out that I am effectively playing the role of Client IT Architect for our project. Under normal circumstances, this probably wouldn’t be allowed, based on experience, qualifications, or other requirements. But all of us are operating out of our normal comfort zones, stretching slightly, or significantly, as this program is intended to do.
What impresses me all more is that most of the team are not native English speakers. For me, the closest analogy I can think of is if we were all in a country (say Senegal) where people speak various local languages, but the common language is French, spoken with a regional accent and vocabulary, and at a rapid pace.
Team meetings, briefings, workshops, and even dinner-time conversations are all held in our literal lingua franca of French. I’d have to ask clients questions in French, and carefully interpret their answers in French. Interviews with farmers in the countryside would be translated, but only into French. On-the-fly learning about organic farming, rooftop gardens, and mobile apps would have to be done from French documents and by searching an Internet that was primarily French.
I would be writing e-mails, preparing PowerPoints with technical and business content, and presenting them in French. Speaking with hotel staff, or trying to give taxi drivers directions, or negotiating with shopkeepers in French. Finally, every few days, corporate communications is expecting a thoughtful, story-telling blog post, in French.
I think I would have a headache at the end of each day. So bravo team! Let’s make Community Day a success!
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