Got a lot of negative feedback from an OT&T (Deloitte HC) Partner for “not thinking strategically” and “getting hung up on technical questions” on a project where I was called in to build a

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Interesting. I was in a similar situation when I was a C up to SC. Had non technical S&O team managing me. For me the situation was something like this :

I actually didn't see the big picture of us trying to show value quickly, so I actually got lost in way too technical details that didn't have any meaning to the rest of the team. I wanted to deliver the perfect solution and Koller myself over it.

What eventually helped me was to take a step back and identify what the real near term value was for the client and for us. I broke down the solution into smaller components, each with its individual value prop. Pretty much showing what was required for an mvp and then subsequent "add ons". I also showed what was possible in the given time frame and in this case pointing out that it's Nota production solution rather a POC without automation and testing.

It took some heart to heart conversations with the M and SM, but they finally saw the difference of effort involved. It ended up as a poc, the client liked it and we got the follow on work to put it into production with a bigger team and a more realistic time frame.

This may or may not be possible in your situation, but don't be discouraged. Try to bubble it up to the higher level. Might be too late for the current solution but in the future it might be helpful ro do so at the beginning of the project. Hope it works out! Good luck

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This sounds like:

Architect: Build me big apt building to hold 5000 residents

Construction Worker: Floor plans? Foundation? Structural specs?

Architect: What? Too many technical questions, I need it in 2 months!

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Every technically competent person on planet earth has a story like this

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Probably a combination of factors. Right now you need to focus on taking care of yourself, so try to get some rest and relaxation. Then, when you’re ready to reflect on this - know that this type of problem happens all the time in all kinds of projects, and it’s probably not about working with a technical or non technical person. Consultants in a non technical role struggle with meeting timelines and delivering something to be faced with feedback that it wasn’t as expected. Think about how you can manage your stakeholders, including managing upwards. Is there anything you can do differently to make sure you and leadership are on the exact same page in terms of what needs to be delivered? Have you made it clear to them what the implications are in terms of workload vs timelines? When you walked them through it, did you think about the key messages they need to hear? They could be a bad manager, or maybe not, but regardless, since you can only control how you act, it may be helpful to reflect on how you handle this and also how other successful people handle this.

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That’s what I would’ve done had she been more consistent and deliberate in her approach. Refused to meet for any longer than 5 min to talk about requirements. Left it up to me to build everything with no guidance whatsoever then ripped me apart when she didn’t like what I built. Manager and SM on the project refused to intervene saying “you’re the expert, not us." Now I kinda think that was just them throwing me to the wolves and keeping themselves covered in a chaotic situation. Not how I manage folks but whatever.

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Agree with OW. I do think that much of this has to do with non-technical resources. They tend to think hard problems are trivial. It's your job to inform them that hard problems are indeed hard. I do this basically everyday. If you can't get the time you need with stakeholders it's up to you to point out that if you don't get it the project will fail. I've been there and done that and it isn't fun.

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What level are you?

very technical solution. Was trying to gather requirements and manage expectations where there were none while also delivering in a very short timeframe. I was just floored at the feedback. Didn’t like that I asked a lot of questions like “how would we show this in the tool?” And “where would the data for this be?” All the while I was being told I was on tap to plan, build, and deliver this thing in a matter of days. Is this a result of being managed by a non technical person? Any advice on how to manage expectations better next time? I’m a little lost right now. Very discouraged. Worked several all nighters building this solution for them all to be told I was not “getting the vision.” Disappointed in myself.

SC

Hey M1- yep sounds pretty spot on. Unfortunately the PPD was running between us and stakeholders and changed her mind about three times a day on what she wanted. So keeping track of value prop was tough. Ever changing goal posts hence the all nighters and me not seeing the big picture whatever it was.

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