Consulting Chronicles: Opening Moves of the Data Drama

Consulting Chronicles: Opening Moves of the Data Drama
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In every situation in life, all places, groups and teams, there's great people you get along with quite well and who have good intentions, there's also people with god intentions but with whom you won't get along due to personality clash, but it's possible working with them.

There are cases of people who appears to be good but, in the end, they're looking after themselves or, not even after themselves they're bluntly not capable of delivering anything and keep on making promises which, when the time comes, will be unfulfilled. This is what we're going to talk about this time.

This will be posted in multiple parts, all of this was a very painful deliverable I was involved in and probably the one I learned the most from in technical and management terms.


In one project I was tasked with leading the implementation of a critical component for Phase 2, this project was in a large retail bank and it consisted in making some data available to the mobile app backend.

The main challenge here was that the data had to come from the Core Banking systems and, as vendors, not bank employees, we didn't have enough permissions to access the Core Banking systems, so, even though we designed the whole platform, the data extraction layer had to be implemented by the bank staff, then, after the data was extracted, our teams could consume it, transform it and make it available for the mobile app backend.

The good

I was given an awesome team, Product Owner, Business Analysts, Scrum Master, Software Engineers, Solutions Architect and Data Engineers, everyone in the team was, if not strong, at least decent in terms of knowledge and capabilities.

When it comes to the client's team we had to work with, we had a relation already going on and they were already working on the solution for the data extraction, in fact, they showed us data being extracted from the core systems into a data stream in real time.

The bad

When everything looks too good to be true, it generally is. We came to know later on that the real time data stream we saw, was a mere prototype that actually failed and stopped working one week after we engaged with the team and started building the workers for the pipeline to transform the data. This was bad, really bad.

The ugly

All the teams on Phase 2 were depending on us, delivering our data pipeline ahead of time for their features to work, it was a huge issue because if our part of the project was not delivered, the whole Phase 2 was in jeopardy.

The worst part was that we were not getting any clear timeline from the client's team. All deadlines were a moving target which caused trust issues in all fronts, we got one date from them, we adjusted our delivery timelines adding whatever time we needed for integrating into their data extraction layer and communicated that to the team, which in time communicated the same to the client's senior management team. When the time came, Ops!, we're not ready, we had issues and we will deliver next week, and it was next week for over four months.

We had to build a bicycle all the other teams had to ride and we were having a lot of issues with the client building the wheels.

Upcoming posts

I'll split the story into multiple posts, all of this happened in the span of several months, I'll tell the story as if it was a novel in multiple chapters because, to me, it definitely felt like a telenovela where sometimes I was the villain, sometimes I was the hot chick but, most of the time I was the clueless character.

To be continued...