Friday, 20 July 2012

The Man from Del Monte, he say ".....

It is Friday and after this week I  would really like to make it "Poets Day".* Unfortunately I am working with Americans at the moment and had calls in my diary until half past six this evening. This was very annoying as the main activity today was a review call with a trio of Executives and a Senior Architect at ten o'clock. If all went well I would spend much of the day kicking my heels waiting to listen to Americans natter for a couple of hours before I could knock off...

... so how did it go?

First a couple of steps back in time ... When I was first asked to pick up this piece of work I was informed that it was a new approach to developing a rough estimate quickly and a move away from our normal estimating tool. That was it. There was no guidance, no suggestions... "Just get on with it badman and make shit up as you go along". As a result I have spent the past week throwing notes, pseudo-facts and bullshit in to a scruffy, many tabbed spreadsheet with version control and summary sheets in the vain hope that they make it look like I know what I am doing.

It was this spreadsheet that I used as the foundation for the Exec presentation this morning. I took them through the numbers identifying how each had been developed; some ranged from actual numbers, some were "wet fingers in the air" based on previous experience and some were complete fiction driven as a percentage of the other stuff.

Questions were asked, comments were made and a few revisions were suggested and then the summary decision was presented. They loved it! The Executive Lead summarised stating that it was exactly what he wanted and that there would be much more of this type of work in the future and I had set the bench mark ...

... so that's me with a big target painted on my arse then!

After the call I made a few modifications to my estimates and passed them over to have them priced. It was then a slow day until the calls started in the late afternoon. The Sales Lead did her usual trick of dropping me in it and I crawled from the silence at the edges of the call and spent a few minutes trying to sound competent and took the client CEO through our principal assumptions made in the development of our estimate. We must have done something right as he had a complete attitude adjustment and was incredibly positive towards us, our approach and our numbers. I found out later that the Sales Lead had been bombarded with incredulous messages from our US colleagues about our achievements and performance.

It's been a long week but it is nice to end it on a high note.
* Poets Day: Acronym construct based on "Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday"

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