Friday, 20 May 2016

Mostly Work Stuff

Friday was busier and also much more productive than expected.

On the work front I completed a peer review of a costing exercise with my Boss. He was in agreement with the approach I had taken, so that one was fired off to the Commercial Team. They will now be able to  start a negotiation that is likely to end up with the Sales and Commercial Leads giving away a few hundred thousand dollars.

It is a depressing thought because the exercise was to quantify unrecovered cost. The money they are highly likely to give away is not profit, but money already spent by the Corporation on infrastructure. I am fairly certain that they really don't get it.

After lunch I managed to get out and mow the lawn, finishing just as Rob arrived. I was then involved in a period of manual labour when I helped transport four 9' railway sleepers from his trailer across the garden. By the end of the day he had got these in to position where they now create a retaining wall for one edge of the lawn.* Top soil was added to level out the ground and turf was laid. He needs to come back next week to concrete in some posts but the garden is already transformed by his efforts.

My final activity of the day was to sort out a messy project where I had been engaged far too late in the process. A few weeks back I was brought on board and asked to provide some pricing within eight days. After getting up off the floor and drying the tears of laughter I carefully explained that we would need to engage a team that was a) very busy and b) notorious for taking weeks, if not months, to respond.

I also had the foresight to minute this meeting and distribute to all concerned.

The result of me being brought in to the project team late is that the project has missed it delivery dates and Critical Service Levels have been failed. As a result I have been harried and cajoled to deliver pricing in a ludicrous timescale.

This afternoon I managed to get a 'phone call with a colleague** who needs to deliver the main solution component. I was able to get a commitment from him to deliver the solution and costs at some point in the next week. I was therefore able to end the week with a success and an e-mail was sent out to the Requestor and Programme Manager informing them that we now have a committed delivery date.

None of this is exciting so it was with some relief that I was able to wander away from my laptop and spend a happy hour in the garden giving the turf a good soaking and contemplating how much had been achieved in the space of a few days.
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* The house is on a gently sloping site and way back in the past the lawn was levelled using a dry stone wall on the low side to retain the soil. Over time the wall has deteriorated.  A few years back I restored a couple of sections using railway sleepers to create new retaining walls. Rob has been employed to complete the final section that will give us a lawn to be proud of.
** I had already been through a formal engagement process with his team and had provided both verbal and written presentations of our requirements.  This was most definitely a "chaser" call.

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