Consulting Chronicles: Genesis

Consulting Chronicles: Genesis
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A few weeks ago I wrapped up my maiden voyage into the realms of Consulting, it was into the dynamic landscapes of a prominent Retail Bank in the heard of Saudi Arabia. Surrounded by a kaleidoscope of cultures and nationalities and a great project team, each member became a cherished ally in our shred quest.

This project played a symphony of "firsts" for me:

  • First time consulting
  • First time directly working on client's site
  • First time away from the comfort of an IDE and programming
  • First time assuming a holistic management role
  • First time in Saudi Arabia
  • First time working with third party vendors and people from multiple companies
  • First time working in banking or any financial institution

The journey unfolded against the backdrop of constant flying between my home in Dubai and the client's headquarters in Riyadh, a whole year of weekly travel turned the weekends into a much awaited reunion with my family while back in Riyadh I was steering not one, but multiple teams, navigating a complex web of personalities, responsibilities and relationships, I found myself in uncharted waters as my usual role in technology projects is as a Senior Engineer or a Tech Lead.

My trip had the added complexity of liaising with third party vendors and staff from other companies also working on the same project along with us and the client, weaving together Scrum Masters, different types of Engineering profiles, Business Analysts, Product Managers and Architects into a mosaic of collaboration. A total of 23 souls divided into 2 teams comprised what, to me, was a trial by fire, pushing me beyond the boundaries of familiarity where comfort was a luxury very rarely afforded.

Even though I got very positive feedback from my whole team, all client, vendor and my own project team staff, my introspection reveals a spectrum of triumphs, failures and a lot of lessons learned. As I reflect on this journey, I feel compelled to share a series of learnings from this crusade, thus, this is the genesis of a series of articles I'll call, the Consulting Chronicles, where I'll share experiences gained on this project as well as any upcoming mission that brings something interesting and worth talking about.