Washington, DC

Washington DC: The City [part 1]
Washington DC: The Team [part 2]
Washington DC: Crime Statistics [part 3]
Washington DC: More Team Photos [part 4]

The Assignment

A one year installation of Lawson Financial, Human Resources, and Procurement suites at a nationally known academic medical center.

The Team

Michael was our first project manager, and he is pictured eating with me at our favorite Malaysian restaurant. He brought in our core team members from our company's Lawson practice. We had worked together in Sioux Falls. Michael currently works in St Louis for another company. He is still configuring Lawson systems.

Larry, Michael and I worked together in Sioux Falls. Larry and I had many friends from work in common, and we hung in the same circles at Chicago office events. Previously, he had worked for DDI, a Time & Expense system bought by Kronos. His subspecialty is in the area of Time and Attendance interfacing to Lawson and Peoplesoft HR/Payroll.

Despite being part of the same national team for five years, many of us had never met. Larry, Michael, Robin and myself worked in the Midwest region. Jennifer and Mike worked in Northeast. Bill and Brian worked in the Southeast. So, until this job in DC, the different regional teams had only talked to each on the phone. We did work with common colleagues, and knew each other by reputation. Prior to this project, our team members were working with other packages including Commerce One, Oracle and Peoplesoft.

Bill and Mike had previously worked with the firm, and joined our team as contractors. Bill is based out of Atlanta and installs Lawson Procurement Suite. Mike was a controller at an academic medical center. Mike joined the team as project manager. He had previously worked with our engagement director in Connecticut.

After our initial engagement director was promoted, Jennifer joined us as engagement director. I had met her years before in New York City. Before our Lawson job, she had been in charge of change management at the United Nations in front of a global Peoplesoft installation. Jennifer sent us Robin.

Robin was brought in to handle change management on this job. Robin is based out of Chicago. Both she and I were undergraduates at The University of Chicago, although we attended at different times.

Brian was part of our Southeast region team out of Atlanta. Our practice is divided into regions, so I had only heard about Brian in stories. Also, he had worked with one of our Chicago office colleagues, Kirsten. We could always rely on Brian to be first in the office at 0600 and pretty close to last one out at 1900 hours.

Jim and I had worked together for more than two years in St Louis. He is a member of the Supply Chain team and was brought in to help with Materials Management data build. Jim, aka 'Kramer', and I had many good times together over the years. He is always full of good cheer, and if you get a chance, ask him for his sailing stories. This is why he is also known as Gilligan, from Gilligan's Island.

We rarely stayed later than sundown. The surrounding neighborhood could be dangerous, and our personal appearance made us stand out. Initially, this did not bother us. However, when a contractor told us his story of being assaulted in broad daylight, we stopped taking the Metro on a regular basis. The contractor was a larger man, and if one were to choose a robbery target, he would not be at the top of the list.

Thereafter, we used the taxi services. Our driver, Gary grew to become our friend, and he is pictured at my going-away dinner. Our team stayed in the DuPont Circle/Adams Morgan area. Previously, We each had bad cab experiences. It was not uncommon for drivers to refuse a fare into our client hospital. Also, it was difficult to call cabs into the neighborhood.

I met Gary about three weeks into the job. He was willing to take a fare into the neighborhood and was very happy to pick us up from the hospital. After our initial experiences, the team was thinking about hiring a car and running our own personal shuttle service. Other contractors had already decided to drive themselves into and out of the neighborhood. So, we were grateful that Gary was able to help us out every morning and night.

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  • Stephan@RacingSquirrel.com
  • 2004-2005, Stephan Lau-- Chicago Illinois USA