Monday, 8 July 2013

To fail to prepare ...

... is to prepare to fail. Benjamin Franklin put it so succinctly when he stated the need for organisation and planning if one was to succeed in an endeavour. My initial thoughts on the latest assignment is that they have certainly been busy doing "stuff" but there are some fundamental preparatory items that just haven't been developed. I should point out that "they" are the embryonic Engagement Team and they have been in place for a time period measured in months rather than weeks or days.

I have only been assigned a couple of days and I have already drafted a solution responsibility matrix which identifies which of the globally dispersed individuals will be responsible for which solution elements. This is fundamental if there are to be no gaps or overlaps in our final deliverable. Today I was presented with a worrying request. I was asked to review the budget for the development of the solution. With the current level of planning this is like walking up to a man on the street and saying "how much is a car?". It is a question that cannot be answered without parameters that define the requirement. At present there is no information on when the client will provide us with requirements and the date we are proposing to deliver a price seems to move in and out with the tide! There was no way that I could comment on a budget without a bid plan that identifies the key milestones and phases of this engagement. Did one exist? ... Did it Fuck!

So you can guess what I pulled together yesterday afternoon.

I could continue this diatribe with tales of hour long calls with no agendas or actions but I am trying to be positive and make firm but gentle recommendations that will put the team on the right track. I just hope that I can get off at the next station.*

Putting work to one side, I had a slightly more successful day. I managed to combine taking TP to the dentist with collection of a replacement spare wheel from Mark at MP Trading. This lingered in the back of the car for a couple of hours before I took it down the village and dropped it off with Andy who will sort out the media blasting and powder coating. I also took the two Victorian cast iron bench ends that I have had in my possession for the best part of twenty years after finding them in the back of a shed in a house I bought. They have a twisted ivy element to their design and will look fantastic once they have been cleaned up and painted but it is fair to say that twenty years is a long time for a project to be on hold.

I hope it doesn't take me another twenty years to get the timber for the seat or, for that matter, get the tyre fitted to my replacement spare wheel.
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* or failing that,leap from the Guard's Van and tumble, limbs flailing, down an embankment

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