This IT project is highly visible, and management is taking no chances. "To ensure that it is managed properly, execs contract with a highly advertised consulting firm to provide a thundering herd of expert project managers," says a pilot fish on the project.

"Never mind the fact that our corporate PMs usually do quite well."

As is always the case, there's lots of time every day that the regular employees spend on nonproject tasks they're required to do. Fish doesn't report that as project time, and he instructs the rest of his team to do the same.

And it's not long before, one by one, the thundering herd arrives at fish's desk. "You're short on hours! Why aren't you reporting your time?" each one asks.

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