Bill Pardi looked again at the agenda memo in his hand. The RMS Project was the title across the top. "I can't believe I'm here at 8 A.M. for some silly meeting," he muttered to himself. He had known this was coming ever since Dan Shelly, the new CIO, had made Bill and all the other IT leaders attend a training session in January. At the time, Bill had joked about it, saying something about seeing circles in front of his eyes. Dan had smiled, but it became apparent that this Microsoft Solutions Framework stuff was serious business with him, and they were all going to have to deal with it at some point. "Looks like that time is here. Might as well get it over with," Bill thought. He threw a notepad in his bag and headed for the conference room.
On the other side of the building, Dan Shelly sat at his desk, sipping his third cup of coffee and going over the presentation notes for the fourth time. He had been there since 6 A.M. He already had the handouts in everyone's chair and the overhead projector in place. He knew the importance of this project, and the importance of this meeting. "If Ferguson and Bardell is ever going to get maximum value from IT, they'll have to do a better job of integrating the business and IT processes and goals, and MSF is the key," he thought, getting to his feet. "Bill is going to be a tough one to bring around, but once he sees the value to his people, as well as to Ferguson and Bardell, he'll get on board." Putting his notes in his portfolio, he glanced at his watch. "Show time," he said aloud, and started down the hallway.
On the way to the conference room, he saw Tim O'Brien hurrying from the other direction. When Tim saw Dan, he broke into one of his trademark grins and shouted down the hall, "Look at this, Dan! I'm actually here before 10 A.M.!"
"Yes, but all brownie points get taken away if you're late for the meeting," Dan said amiably.
"As long as I'm there before you, I'm not late, big guy." Tim jumped in front of Dan so that he would enter the room first. "See, I made it!" he said triumphantly.
As Dan entered the conference room, he noticed Jane Clayton, Director of Accounting, sitting at one end of the table, engaged in an animated conversation with Marilou Moris, a training contractor they had used on and off over the years. Jane had brought Marilou in to train some of the accounting staff, and the results had been so positive that other units within Ferguson and Bardell used Marilou for training as well. In fact, many people at Ferguson and Bardell thought Marilou was an employee, so well did she fit into the company.
The two women glanced up at Dan and smiled. "You know you have to pay us contractors time-and-a-half for meetings this early, don't you?" Marilou asked. Jane affected a look of mock consternation. "Wouldn't that be offset by the long lunch break you gave your classes when they offered to take you to that new restaurant?" Marilou turned to Jane. "You try docking me for that and I'll start charging you double every time you send one of those executive types to my classes!" she said, grinning.
At the other end of the table, Marta Wolfe-Hellene smiled slightly. Marta was the newest addition to the Engineering division in Chicago. A recent master's graduate of MIT, she was already known to be a bright, organized, and detailed worker, but one who kept to herself for the most part. Dan noted approvingly that she had already written a number of questions at the bottom of the agenda memo. "She's going to be perfect for the team role I chose her for," he thought.
Just then, Bill Pardi walked in and sat down, taking a middle seat at the table. "Good morning, Chief," Dan said, but Bill just grunted. "Shaping up to be an interesting meeting," Dan thought.
"Thank you all for agreeing to be a part of this project team," Dan began. "As I discussed with each of you individually when I asked you to join the team, this project is going to be both highly visible within Ferguson and Bardell, and highly significant for the firm. Each of you has been chosen because I believe you will bring something unique to the team, something that makes you especially well suited to the task I have in mind for you. In a moment, we'll examine those tasks and how each of you fits into the project.
"Thank you also for being on time this morning." Tim beamed. "We've got a lot to cover, as you can see by the agenda I sent out a few days ago. So let's start at the top."