11 December 2014

Inconsistencies

    Just when things are supposedly moving in the right direction, something happens to derail the entire process. I work with records in a huge database and the task was recently set to make thousands of edits to individual records. This was not an insurmountable task, but it was extremely labor intensive. The timeline was never addressed properly, and this was the first problem that I encountered.
    I pushed to get this effort underway for several months. All these efforts were pointless, and precious time slipped away. The lead for this effort (not me), kept insisting that the manual approach would still work. He did this because he wanted something grand to put in his accomplishments list. I pointed out the inherent risks associated with the delays we encountered, but his overly simplistic and optimistic approach continued unabated.
    Finally we got the go-ahead to begin making the changes and I pointed out to the lead that even under the most optimistic conditions showed us missing the deadline. The lead took this information and decided to farm portions of the task out ot other people who were not as familiar with the data and have them make changes as well.
     This prompted another memo from me assessing the risk of this approach. Team lead was unmoved so we commenced on the fruitless task late in the timeline. We showed slow progress, but there was no way for us to meet the deadline. This finally prompted the lead to ask for software developers to generate a script to make the proposed changes! I had suggested this from the very beginning, but was ignored each time I brought up the subject.
     Less than 24 hours later, the lead relented and said we should resume our efforts because he didn't feel comfortable leaving this up to the developers. The actual task involves cutting and pasting, so a script was not a bad idea. I suspect that the lead did not want to give up on this big bullet for his own brag sheet.
     At any rate, we now are preparing to begin the effort where we left off. This also means that we lost 2 days for this effort that cannot be made up before the deadline. So now, we wait for the same lead to deliver us an updated spreadsheet before we can begin again. It is also worth mentioning that the lead will not be available to assist in the project for the rest of this week. Personally, this doesn't sit well with me at all. I am not peased when I am given a task with an impossible deadline and told how much the team has to contribute only to see that the lead will not be participating in the effort.
     The bottom line is that the work has to be done. I am already looking at putting in several hours this weekend in order to help meet the deadline. This will be a major point when I have my next 1-1 discussion with the team supervisor, he is not the person responsible for this fiasco.