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Have you ever been staffed on a project by yourself? Can this really be anything other than just staff aug or if you are a super SME?

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Frequently, SME, it's tough.


I did it for well over a decade. The plus side is you have a lot of agency to set your schedule and WLB. You also learn a lot about proposals, contract management, etc. Plus, being a “super SME” feels good— I really enjoyed the role of expert and once I had “branded” myself as such, it brought me a lot of interesting, smaller one-off jobs. The downside is you have no champions internally. You’re not on anyone’s radar as being indispensable to them, nor are you getting valuable mentorship from above. I *begged* for connections and to be integrated, and to build a team so I could eventually be promoted, but I was never a priority. I was billable and making money, so no one was incentivized to change that.


That sounds rough, kudos to you for sticking to it for so long.

At that point you may as well go independent for the same role and 3x the pay


Yep. I was staffed as a solitary SME on two different project in Deloitte GPS earlier in my career. There were other Deloitte teams on the account, but I was off on my own. I liked that I truly owned the work and client relationship, but I had zero support from Deloitte. I had a monthly check-in with one of the SMs on the account leadership team, but that was it. Never got the requested additional resources or ever had a backstop, so that part of it sucked, but I had a flexible work schedule and really had good WLB for those two engagements. All that said, I wouldn't do it again by choice.


Yup. Started as a multi country project and then turned into staff aug post go live where I was the local SME. At some point you need to decide what is best for career growth or risk stagnating with nobody able to really vouch for you internally.

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