Issue 15

Gogu and the Perspectives

Simona Bonghez
Managing Partner @ Colors in Projects


Gogu is a funny character, cynical here and there, an introvert for whom the interior monologue represents an alternative to real life. With Gogu"s help, we analyze different aspects of the life of a project manager and his team, we suggest solutions that are easy to understand and apply. As Gogu would put it… "almost common sense".

We invite you to follow Gogu and send him your suggestions.

"Gogu, what"s with that dumbstricken face?!"

Misu pitied the imprudent that dared pick on Gogu on such a moment. Nobody wished to become Gogu"s target when he was angry, as the sourness of his replies would burn the soul of the unfortunate, and if by any chance you also had the lunacy to answer back, the fire of Hades would immediately become a much happier alternative.

The glances of those from the department offices avidly fixed on Gogu. The jackals - Misu thought - they are waiting for the slaughter to begin.

But, much to everyone"s surprise, Gogu pushed back his jowl with a natural gesture (his mouth was indeed open), giving no impression of being interrupted from his daydream.

So, Misu thought, he is not angry, he"s only self-absorbed. Over the last 10 minutes he had been analyzing every possibility, every fact, message or happening that could have caused Gogu"s anger. Obviously, except some insubstantial assumptions, he wasn"t able to find anything. Now he had diligently restarted the analysis from the new perspective: what could preoccupy Gogu to such an extent, what could trouble him?

"Any troubles, Gogu?!"

Misu had the clear impression that his thoughts had found their tongue. What the hell… However, he quickly realized that it was not his thoughts that had become verbose, but Chief had made his entrance, smiling, relaxed, suntanned and fresh, well, just like someone after having a holiday. The department began to ferment instantaneously. It"s just that, instead of gathering around Chief to ask him where he"d been, what he had seen, where he"d stayed, what he would recommend, the fuss seemed to completely ignore him… Lists were being checked on computers, computations were in progress…

"Hello, does anyone notice me? Come on, I wasn"t gone for that long…"

It"s only then that Gogu noticed Chief"s presence. His surprise turned rapidly into relief and he smiled to Chief.

"Or has everyone gone nuts?! Gogu, what are these people doing?"

"Ha, ha", Gogu had come back to his senses and now he laughed heartily. "It"s all about bets, Chief! How long you can stand your holiday, how many days earlier you come back to program…"

"Even hours, Misu added, with a large smile on his Transylvanian man"s face. We knew you couldn"t go on for 15 entire days without the commotion over here…"

Two hours later, after the operational meeting and after Misu had sufficiently trumpeted the victory brought by his predictions, after the entire department had found out all the details of the Chief"s holiday, time had come for Gogu to be called to account for what had happened with the projects in which he had replaced the Chief.

"Well, Chief, a lot of care and trouble this delegation of yours…"

"Any problems, Gogu? Chief smiled."

" It"s rather a puzzle of mine… Except that, Gogu proudly stood straight, I took care of everything."

"I"m sure you did, Gogu, otherwise I wouldn"t have appointed you to fill in for me. Tell me, what is it that puzzles you?"

"It"s something strange, Chief", Gogu started. "Do you remember the optimization ideas of the Moon project? I analyzed some of them myself and turned them formal, into changing requests. There were a few which required the approval of the project manager, and we have already implemented them. There were, however, some which you had to approve, as the sponsor of the project."

"So?" asked Chief, with unfeigned curiosity. "Have you approved them for yourself?" Seeing Gogu"s puzzle, he quickly added:

"Any delegation comes with responsibilities as well as with the authority necessary for decisions. I totally trust in you, Gogu, and I will support your decisions; I have no doubt that those requests should have been approved."

"That"s just it, Chief. I did not approve them."

Chief looked blank. A certain shadow of disappointment emerged in his eyes when he reproached to Gogu:

"Well, I did not expect you to postpone making some decisions on my behalf. You know very well that the lack of a decision can sometimes have a greater impact than a bad decision, especially in the case of our project. We need quick resolutions here."

"No, Chief, wait. You did not understand. I didn"t postpone. I made the decision, it"s just that…"

"It"s just what? Come on, spell it out!"

"Well, the resolution was "No". I rejected my own request!" Gogu uttered spitefully.

Chief respired with relief. For a moment he had doubted his decision to delegate to Gogu - during his leave of absence - the responsibilities of chief of department and sponsor of the two major reorganization projects. He suddenly felt guilty for his lack of trust. He encouraged Gogu to continue.

"So, you"re saying you turned them down?"

"Yes, Chief. And it bothers me. Was I chuckle headed when I requested them or is it that I didn"t have the guts when I turned them down? "Cause the risk no longer seemed acceptable to me…"

Chief was silent for a few moments, chewing on the answer.

"It"s probably neither one thing, nor the other. You are not the first one in this situation. There is a little story on the internet, most probably an urban legend, on general Milea. They say that - and here Chief leaned on his back - at the time when he was a garrison commander, just like any other commander, he would send different requests for the endowment of the garrison, to the general headquarters. Promoted chief of staff and forced by circumstances to assume quickly his new responsibilities, he finds himself in the situation of having to analyze two of his last requests sent in his capacity of garrison commander. His assistant, taking over the requests file, is surprised to notice the negative resolution and, astonished, dares to ask whether the requests were not legitimate. The answer of the general, Gogu, I think suits your case, too. "The requests were and are legitimate from the position of garrison commander. From the position of Chief of Staff, however, things are seen from a totally different perspective!"




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