Friday, August 24, 2007

Finding the silver lining

I am involved in a very huge project at work. We're replacing a home-grown application, that everyone uses, with a commercial product. The project recently got a fire lit under it, which put a boatload of pressure on me to deliver. I am normally a very driven person, very results-oriented. Unfortunately, the organization I work for has yet to discover the benefit of strategic planning, project management, or accountability. We are working on all of that. However, my project is the first that is being held up as an example on accountability and project management. So, most of the players are unsure how to operate. Communication and coordination still leave a bit to be desired. All in all, a somewhat frustrating enterprise for me as the technical lead on the project, since I have no power over anyone but I need everyone's cooperation to make this work.

Here is where the vendor comes in. My organization outsourced the evaluation that got our current vendor selected. It turns out that one of the key features we asked for they only do partially, and no where near as well as our in-house solution. Since this feature is key to the security of the application, it became a huge duck-on-the-table this week when the inadequacy was uncovered. After much discussion, it was decided that deployment would be put on hold until the vendor fixed the bug that caused the issue. And yes, the vendor sheepishly admitted that it was a bug.

So, 'where is the silver lining?' you may ask. Well, this project was on an insanely tight deadline. I have been working extra hours and losing sleep over the whole situation. But now, I have more time to make sure that the aspects of the project that are under my control are delivered in a quality manner, while the vendor gets their head out of their butt and fixes this critical issue.

So, thank you Mr Vendor for being an extremely huge butthead. I may actually get a reasonable amount of sleep tonight.

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