I have taken projects where my professional consultation went against the grain. I was hired to lead an implementation for a high profile, Fortune 100 corporation and take it to “go live” within a couple months.
As I was starting my initial dive, I found that the work that had been done prior to my arrival was grossly inaccurate and incomplete. I was confident in my assessment and would not back down from it. I knew that I would be held accountable if I did not speak up. I was the only female on the team, and the only African American, so it was already a stacked situation. I thoroughly documented my findings and kept pushing my message that we could NOT move forward in our current state or we would absolutely fail, we were no where close to being able to go live in 2 months that there was at 6 to 8 months of work that needed to be done before that could happen.
The team was floored DID NOT want to move the timelines as they did not know how they would explain this to the client. A lot of money, millions of dollars had already been paid. brought in new consultants, all males by the way, and sat me sit on the sidelines while “the experts” looked at everything top down. The EVP flew in from HQ, interrogated me, blamed me, but kept me around because I had significant information that they were not yet able to disprove. They likened the project to “a train that was on fire speeding down the track”. I wanted to quit the project, I started looking aggressively but something would not let me leave.
After months of assessing the issues, the EVP called a meeting with the entire team. He announced that my findings were correct and that if I had not stood my ground the damage would have been irreparable. He shared that the project became a major expense rather than being profitable because of all of the unaddressed issues.
The stress was overwhelming. I cried. My teammates began to share how I worked tirelessly to keep things on track. As I was leaving the meeting one of the developers whispered to me, “See if you would have quit , the truth would have not come out and you would have been blamed. Thank God you stayed.”