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Six Blind People and the Elephant

Six Blind People and the Elephant

 01/08/23  |    Marlyn Bedi

The famous metaphor came to life when an elephant of a project (pun intended) went foreseeably sidetracked.

Situation - Having gone through four months of vigorous and competitive process of submitting, iterating, answering, iterating, discussing, and iterating the proposal we had finally landed a large-scale ERP change project from an overseas client. 


The need? The need was to support the client company in accommodating the behavioural changes the new ERP entailed as it drastically affected the job description, scope of work, and interdependencies of the majority of the employees in the corporate as well as the factory setting. In spite of multiple perceivable red flags in the process, we had become only a pair of hands by the closure of the project rather than playing the expert role for which we were hired.  


Confusion -  The project was so large scale that when each department or individual perceived it internally to convey their needs and requirements, it varied from one end of the spectrum to another while we floated in our understanding of the project from an external eye. 


Assumption - Maybe all big projects are handled this way. I doubted our own perception of the problem which was discarded by the stakeholders and thought it would be easier to let others be in the driving seat. 

Reflection - We ended up being only a pair of hands for lateral project support for the client after the flagged concerns came to the surface leading the company to slow down their transitional efforts to a minimum. It, however, did teach us to be more grounded in our opinions coming from the seat of expertise and perhaps take a more affirmative position to stay true to our work. It also taught us how to be more accepting of the client’s appetite for change even though we knew they could do more and had an inbuilt capacity for transformation.

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