Saturday, 9 March 2013

Taking a gulp of air

It has been nearly a fortnight since I put "pen to paper" and the reason for that is twofold; firstly after a twelve or thirteen hour day stuck in front of a laptop the last thing I have wanted to do is spend even more time pecking at a keyboard and secondly, the ins and outs of a badly assembled IT Services Outsourcing deal is never ever going to be fun reading.

Fundamentally I have spent most of the last fortnight stuck in my office with a 'phone stuck to my ear on back to back conference calls. At the same time I have been trying to communicate with a team of frustrated SMIs via hastily assembled emails and poorly spelled instant messages. It is fair to say that it has all been pretty shitty. The time line for this deal means that I am assembling a solution and costs whilst the requirements are still being negotiated and that means that  a) my solution is not going to align with what the client want and b) my solution may well not align with the contract finally agreed and that well mean that the Delivery Guys will be deep in the shit if this ever signs!

The Sales team are ignoring our carefully constructed arguments and solid reasons to stop, take a breath and do things properly and, as time has gone on, things are starting to unravel as the issues that have been ignored finally come to a head.

This sounds awful and I have to say that I am not really having fun but it is nowhere near as stressful as I had expected it to be. I think I have finally realised that this isn't worth getting worked up about. Basically what happens is I follow the process until we get to the eleventh hour. At that point I have a solution which is probably about 80 - 90 % acceptable with a few objectionable features that prevent a contract being agreed. At the eleventh hour a review happens, the objectionable features are exposed and an Exec somewhere starts shouting. People then start running around and all of the objectionable features either get accepted or forced in to a contract...

... and that basically is another deal completed.

To be fair last weekend was reasonably free but I did put in a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday to keep on top of things.* I was unwilling to tie myself to the laptop for the sake of my own sanity and, more importantly, last weekend we were joined by a young visitor...

... Joe spent a couple of days with us while his Mum was in hospital for a scheduled operation. It has been quite a while since we had a "nearly eight" year old in the house and I have to say that he was an absolute pleasure. He ate like a horse, drank tea by the bucket full and  was willing to just join in and go along with our weekend agenda. After TP's teenage grunts and monosyllabic nature an eight year old's chatter and questions were quite refreshing.

This weekend has only just started and one of the first things I did was get outside and walk T&M. The long days of this week have meant that I literally have not stepped outside the boundaries of The Pile and TP has been on dog walking duties. It was nice to be outside in the fresh air but if I am honest work did keep creeping back in to my head as I wandered around the Three Miler.

I returned to an empty house as TP had headed in to Worcester and 30% was spending the day with Jules at a Spa in Malvern. I therefore settled down at the laptop to finalise my presentation for Monday's eleventh hour review before lunch. The afternoon saw a fire get lit and a small repair was performed on TP's electric ukulele...

... I think it will be a takeaway for supper tonight.
* This is not actually true. There is no way you can keep on top of things at the pace these deals run. All you can do is hope and pray that you focus on the right emails at the right time. To give some idea of the pace, a standard day will have six hours of scheduled conference calls plus impromptu discussions in the gaps between. There will be one or more contract schedules to review and comment against and these can be eighty pages in length. Finally, there are the technical issues of the actual solution that need to be addressed to. I just prioritise and pray I don't get caught out.

No comments:

Post a Comment