A thing/person/group is the LongPoleInTheTent if it is behind schedule, affecting other dependent entities.
The concept is of the longest pole supporting the tent being the most visible and therefore most culpable for the shape of the schedule. (Or is it because the long pole has to go up first?)
Contributors: DonOlson, a WikiGnomeMy understanding is that it's called the Long Pole because it's the pole that holds everything up. -- DonBransonAs I see it, this is more along the lines of having a collapsible tent held up by poles. When you pack it away, the bag's got to be at least as big as the longest pole, even if everything else is much smaller.
On a recent project, this person was referred to as "the cork" in the, um, orifice of progress. -- RonJeffriesSceptical view
This is why some think JobSecurity is dependent on having a "low profile". If you take a "high profile" job, you can expect people to be looking to you to supply them success; "low-profilers" can be quite proficient in shedding and placing blame for their own failures on you while accepting and claiming successes you have provided as their own after you, as the LongPoleInTheTent, have left or have been disposed of.