When Annoying Kid Songs Apply To Life….

This is the project that never ends
It just goes on and on my friend
Some people started coding it not knowing what it was,
And they’ll continue coding it forever just because . . .
This is the project that never ends
It just goes on and on my friend
Some people started coding it not knowing what it was,
And they’ll continue coding it forever just because . . .

I have four things my boss needs from me today.  All are in support of how we run our department going forward – changing it from a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants organization to a group that plans and is thoughtful in our execution of things.

But you know what is going to prevent me from doing this?

The project that never ends.

Just fucking shoot me now.

To understand my feelings on this project, we must go back in time, almost exactly 1 year ago.  I was in the process of switching teams when I was given a project.  It really wasn’t one project – it was 5 – but, ah, details.  And in that project was this project – the project that had really started 2 years ago……and seemed to have no true timeline for getting completed.  My cohort and I divided and conquered and got the other four project under control, but this one…..ah, this one project was going to be a beast.

Why?

If you have ever been on a project of any sort, you have a scope of the project (what is exactly being delivered by the end of the project), you have a schedule (timeline for delivering said scope), and you have a team brought together to make this happen.

By contrast, here is how this project was setup when I got it:

No scope (only knew that the system should be ready for one organization to use at the end of the project with no details behind what that meant exactly in terms of functionality the system needed to have to ensure that goal could be met).  Anyone who has dealt with anything like this is going “WTF? 2 years into a project and there is no clearly defined scope? No wonder it’s been going on so long!”  Oh, it gets better!

No schedule.  Not truly a surprise because, well, hard to have a schedule when you don’t know what it will take to get to the end.  The schedule in place with percentage complete was all bogus and bullshit.  Nothing like inheriting a project just to toss out the project plan.

There was a team, but let’s talk about the team.  Two departments who believe the other is out to get them.  As a result – no fucking cooperation and / or communication.  Trying to get anything done resulted in shit being dragged up from 2 years back.  It was fucking crazy and counterproductive.

So, I started the process of sorting out this rat’s nest (to use a phrase a former cohort in my past liked to use for situations like this).  It took me six months to go through everything with a huge “ah-ha”  last December when I realized the application was built – just no one had shown the department that would use it so they could stop fixating on the big pieces already in place.  Once we held a demo, it was rapid fire – the tides seemed to be turning. It could be bumpy sometimes but it wasn’t the big fucking mess it had been earlier.

And during this time, anytime someone demanded a schedule, I told them not until the scope was done and locked and signed off.  January of this year, that happened – and I was able to create a timeline for delivery. Score!  We had a go-live date of Sept 1st.

In May, I learned that my development timeline was off by 3 weeks.  I won’t go into how that happened because it ended up being a big finger pointing exercise where the person finger pointing didn’t see how she was looking bad in either scenario.  I adjusted the schedule – go-live would now be October 1st.

One week ago today, I learned that development needed an extra 3 weeks for an issue that the team found.  Asked all of the right questions – got all of the right information – communicated out the change of schedule.

Last night, I found out that they under estimated it.  It was going to take 12 weeks AND while investigating that one they found they missed another change that would add an extra 3 weeks making the total time added to the development 15 weeks or almost 4 months.

There are certain things that have to get built into schedules because of the department involved.  The big one? You lose them from January thru March for a variety of reasons.  This means the earliest testing can start is April.  Given how long testing needs to occur…..the earliest it can go live is…..

…..drum roll please…..

August of next year!!

This is the project that never ends
It just goes on and on my friend
Some people started coding it not knowing what it was,
And they’ll continue coding it forever just because . . .
This is the project that never ends
It just goes on and on my friend
Some people started coding it not knowing what it was,
And they’ll continue coding it forever just because . . .

Because of who I am, I am not asking why we don’t kill this fucking project as large corporate systems with a lot of more moving parts and departments involved rarely take this long to implement……..don’t know if it would work but it’s helping make sure that one song doesn’t turn into this one…..

They’re coming to take me away, ha ha,
They’re coming to take me away!

What do you think?