After working as an analyst for 2 years and constantly asking for it, I was finally invited to join as Project Coordinator in one of the ongoing projects at work. Aimed at the the residential and small business markets, by bringing to market a series of 3 types of cameras. It was intended to compete in the DropCam arena but with the exterior or ceiling models to cover more surface.
I've learned a lot about joining a project team late in the game and found a new appreciation for "long shots". I was given a very strict deadline when I first sat down: it needed to be done in a month. It wasn't unrealistic, the project was already 80% done and was basically suffering from technical difficulties that, I thought at the time, would be easily solved through revising the project scope and deliverables.
Had it been that easy, I would have spent the whole month trying to debate why our biggest obstacle to our main technical problem (e-commerce subscription model), was ourselves. I would have kept bringing a different solution each week (which I did) and finally succeeded in convincing the sponsors to accept to show a bit of flexibility and compromise with a slightly different model, at least temporarily, until a better solution was found (which, unfortunately, I didn't).
Instead, the deadline was pushed again.
Had it been that easy, it wouldn't have affected how I understood project management like I did after it was all done. I wouldn't have learned to deal with team fatigue, disengagement from other employees, or head strong sponsors.
We finally were able to go to market six months after I joined...
..but the product line was abandoned not long after the launch, when its main sponsor stepped down as CEO and his successor was not as hopeful as he was.