Project leadership is implementing a 5-month vacation blackout period over the next year (not all consecutive) due to critical project phases, so I understand. Is this reasonable?

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No. It's a sign of poor planning/scoping if you have to impose multiple blackouts.

One blackout around a critical go-live is one thing, multiple ones are massive red flags.

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“Critical project phases” = code for we sold and promised to deliver a 6-month project that should take at least a year AND we can’t add more people because we sold it cheap.

“We’re going to need all hands on deck for this one guys. No vacations due to the critical project phases on this timeline.”

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Yeeeeaahhh…that sounds like a “you” problem…

Quit mid project, during the most critical blackout phase

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Good luck with all of that.

Just so much easier to quit then to not take vacation. Is there an upside to staying? Retention bonus? Double vacation reward when you’re done?

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We can still take vacation days on the other 7 months though

Sounds like a staffing/resource planning issue. How’s the turnover where you are? Did you just have a significant amount of departures compared to your headcount?

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Thats a bit insane, how involved is this project that people can’t take a couple of days off here and there in the month?

Sounds like something that hasn’t been rolled out yet and you might not know all the details.

When you say “not all consecutive” are they just blacking out certain holiday weekends like MLK, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc? Or like for example all of December, then all of February but March and April is fine, then black out in May to July?

The latter. Blocking all of Feb to April, then 2 week blocks throughout the summer

This seems absurd. What firm? Name and shame.

Hard no. Completely understand criticality on project phases but that’s why leadership needs to maintain staffing flexibility. This is a “them” problem. Being of sane mind and healthy body “we” gently inform them of our vacation days.

5 full months? Or like portions of 5 months? The latter is understandable.

And can’t take any PTO or can’t take like 5 days in a row? The latter is understandable

The former for both. 5 full months and any PTO

Tell you can’t plan without telling me

Ridiculous.

Reasonable would be maybe a month around a go live. 5 months is not by any means critical, and just shows they know the project was resourced too thin before the project even starts.

Our project has over 100 people on it, so I’m surprised there hasn’t been any push back

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