Accenture is a global company, and a great thing about this is the opportunity (project dependant) for international travel. During the last 6 months on my current project I’ve been on two trips- one to one of our development centres in Mumbai to assist with a transition to the build phase of a project and more recently a three week trip to the USA to do some scoping work with a new client. A really nice thing about doing these trips is we get to keep all of the air miles from flights, and the loyalty points from hotel stays leaving me with around 30000 air miles and alot of hotel points.
When I was in Mumbai I was out there to assist the project with transitioning to the build phase by our colleagues offshore- to say this was two weeks of hecticness would be an understatement- we had to help the guys get skilled up on the new architecture created here in the UK, whilst assisting the UX team in integrating with our server side app and at the same time helping the functional design team to get over the line with all their designs. So during the week the only thing I really saw was our hotel, the taxi and the office- but netherless it was great fun to meet all the team in Mumbai after having so many conference calls with them. At the weekend I ventured out into Mumbai and had a look at some of the tourist spots- the gateway to India (a harbour with a really impressive gate), Elephanta island and caves (very similar to Petra, just with a lot more monkeys which I was warned would try to steal anything I had on me!) and finally one of the local markets. I also ate at the Leopald café which was very surreal as there is still the gun shot marks left there in memorial of the shootings a few years back. As I’m a massive fan of Indian food in the UK, I was not disappointed here with some of the best curries I’ve ever had and this was in the Accenture office’s cafeteria- the hotel offerings were a lot more western. I definitely felt this trip was worthwhile as it was really cool to see the team ramp up with what they were building as well as letting me put a face to the names that I speak with on a daily basis over the web.
More recently I was sent to Kansas City to go and do some scoping work (which is essentially a huge amount of meetings against a schedule) with a new client. This has also been a really fun trip, with a lot of hard work in getting through our entire meeting and workshop schedule. To say our host’s were welcoming is under selling them- they’ve been incredibly friendly to us and have taken us to nearly every type of food cuisine you could possibly imagine as well as ensuring there is never short supply of snacks in the meeting room we’ve set up in, plus being driven around in one of their Hummer H2’s was a great experience (it’s like being inside a tank). From this trip I think the whole team has seen the benefit of face to face meetings, we’ve been able to really build a good relationship with the client whom we will be working tightly with in the future and puts us in a good place to begin work when we fly back home. We’ve also had a lot of fun as a team on the weekends making the most of the dollar to pound exchange in the shops! The one thing that has struck me about Kansas though is the huge temperature swings, on the day we arrived it was 27 degrees- the next day it was 4, leaving a few of us feeling a tad silly for not bringing a coat!