Project Practitioners > The Night Before the Deadline

The Night Before the Deadline

By Brian Irwin

In all aspects of life, I believe it’s important that we not take ourselves too seriously.  With the holidays squarely and firmly upon us, I’ve decided to take a little creative liberty with a popular holiday story.  I hope you enjoy the project management version of this holiday classic.

‘Twas the night before the deadline, when all through the plant
Not a milestone was met, not one on my Gantt;

The status reports were all sent to the sponsor with care,
In hopes hopes he would see pending trouble to beware;

The team were all nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of despair ran wild through my head;

The tech lead in her cubicle, and I wearing my worry cap,
Had just settled down for a much needed nap;

When out in the hall arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the cube farm I flew like a flash,
Threw open the door and tripped on the can of trash;

The light of fluorescent on the tired eyes of my tech lead,
Gave way to pending doom, it did indeed.

When, who to my frightful eyes should now show?
But my angry sponsor, eight steering committee members in tow.

More rapid than eagles, he and his entourage they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now, Charlie!  Now, Carrie!  Now, Tommy, and Don!
On, Misty!  On, Kristy!  On, Johnny, and Ron!

To the meeting room at once, at the end of the hall!
Now dash away!  Dash away!  Dash away all!

As dry leaves, that before the wild hurricane fly,
We all ran and scurried – we did, oh my!

So to the meeting room, at once we all flew,
With arms full of risks, outdated schedules too.

As I quickly sat, and was turning around,
Into the room came my sponsor in one angry bound.

He was dressed in navy blue, from his head to his foot,
And as I stood to greet him, he said, “Stay put!”

A heap of change requests he pulled from his pack,
And he looked like a wolf, ready to attack.

His eyes—how they glared, his nostrils—flared and hairy,
His face radiated anger,  his cheeks red as a cherry.

His wrinkled little mouth was puckered like a prune,
And the beard of his chin scruffy, like a baboon.

The shell of a black pen he held tight in his teeth,
This absolute power he would not bequeath.

He had a long face and a rotund belly,
From far too many trips to the neighborhood deli.

He was chubby and plump, and short as an elf,
This cold little man could not laugh at himself.

But, a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And signed all the change requests, then turned with a jerk.

As the last change request was signed and approved,
He pointed to the end date, to the right it could be moved.

He sprang out the door, and to his committee gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, as he strode out of sight,
You’d better make this end date, or things won't be alright!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL!  Be safe and have a great holiday season.

Not all comments are posted. Posted comments are subject to editing for clarity and length.

/dies laughing

Bravo, Brian!! That was absolutely marvelous!

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