Avengers, ACemble! 2

The Age of Project Management

· project-management ·

WORK

“So,” Tony addressed the table, “what have we all learned since we adopted a Project Management system these past few months?” Unlike the rest of his team, he wasn’t wearing his regular costume for the meeting, but his usual civilian clothing - a bespoke three-piece suit. Coupled with the way he cocked his head in mock empathy, as if speaking to a room full of toddlers, it only served to make him appear even more conceited than usual.

“That you’re an even bigger control freak than we all thought you were?” Clint clamored in an exasperated tone of voice.

“You say ‘control freak,’ I say ‘organized.’ And we needed organizing. Why, just look at the state of business: property damage is down, so we aren’t getting sued every time there’s an alien invasion, which means that profits are up!” Tony beamed, that familiar look of mania in his eyes whenever money would come up in a discussion.

“Tony. Darling.” Natasha spoke up, articulating every word with precise grace and cold intent. A lifetime of training - to be an interrogator, a consummate professional, your best friend, whatever you need her to be, whatever she wants you to need - could be heard in every syllable. “We are a superhero team, not one of your companies. Best not to forget that.”

Steve cleared his throat, and when everyone’s attention turned to him, coyly raised his hand.

“Steve, buddy, we’ve been over this - you don’t have to do that every time you want to say something.” Clint said, rubbing his temples.

Steven leaned over the table, his pose as rigid as always: “Rules are rules, my good fellow, and we should all strive to follow them. It plainly says so right here in Section 10, Subsection 13/A of our official Handbook…”

“Which you wrote.” Clint interjected.

“Well… someone had to.” Steven lowered his head. “But it is my opinion that we should all listen to Tony. After all, he’s our leader.”

“He is?” Bruce, still groggy after his last transformation, spoke up. “I thought you were our leader?”

“Isn’t this a communal effort, all of us equal partners here? No leaders, only comrades in arms?” Natasha argued, with her customary socialist zeal.

“Gentlemen… and comrade Natasha,” Tony raised his voice to get the conversation back on track, “you’re missing the point. It doesn’t matter who’s the leader, now that we have a system and know who’s in charge of what. I’m simply the most tech-savvy person here, so it’s only natural that I’m the one responsible for giving out your assignments. For example, how difficult was it to get sufficient quantities of mead for Thor before?”

Seeing that no one was going to argue this, he continued: “Very, especially considering his favorite brand is only produced in a single Asgardian brewery that’s run by dwarves who only accept payment in gold. But now we no longer need to go all the way to another dimension, because we’ve installed our PMT on their systems and set up automatic recurring orders. Now they deliver 200 gallons of the stuff right to our front doors every month!”

The meeting room fell silent for a while, everyone pondering this welcome change. The mead supply runs were indeed getting ridiculous, and this opened up a lot more leisure time for everyone.

“And… well… what I mean to say is…” Clint struggled to find the right words, “our battle strategies have gotten better when we map out our tactics and break them down into tasks. No more getting pummeled for bumping into Bruce, or accidentally shooting Tony with an explosive arrow.”

“I don’t have to worry about running out of purple pants in the middle of a mission, now that we’ve analyzed our spending budget report and figured out it makes more sense to buy them in bulk. Comes in handy!” Bruce chimed in with uncharacteristic glee.

“The note function is very useful for keeping track of all the movies and TV shows people keep saying I just must watch. This modern technology stuff sure is fun!” Steve exclaimed.

“Right!” Tony loudly clasped his hands. “It’s settled, then. We’ll continue using ActiveCollab as our PMT! Next, I was thinking we could use the time tracking app to see if we can shave off a couple of seconds from our training drills.”

Everyone groaned.

Except for Steve, who was already looking forward to beating his personal record from 1944.

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