The Ebola Project

Friday, June 13, 2008
I am involved in a project right now that I can only describe as "the Ebola project."

Like the string virus, it pops up unexpectedly from the jungle, decimates the local population, then slips silently back into the mist.

Prior to this project going to contract, I produced eleven iterations of my design deliverable, starting in November 2007.

Now that they're in the implementation phase, I've produced seven change orders, and I'm on a conference call now to determine the requirements for number eight.

Part of the issue is that the customer is running around naked with their hair on fire, changing system requirements every couple days.

The other part of the problem is that the sales team can't keep track of all the changes (or the original requirements). Additionally, they seem to think the only time they need to share requirement information with me is when their implementation team realizes something is missing, and they have to come back for a change order. They usually end up saying, "Didn't we tell you we needed call recording/duplicated servers/anti-viral medication for hemorrhagic fever? Well, we do. Can you re-engineer the entire project in the next 10 minutes?"

Some days, this job gives me high blood pressure. I'm going to go walk the dog.

5 comments:

Jeri said...

We call those the Red Lantern projects at my company.

You see, every year the last place finisher at the Iditarod - who actually finishes - wins the Red Lantern award.

So, the least popular, most pain the ass, most change-plagued, customer-problematic projects are the Red Lantern projects. And yes, I have one of them. :D

Janiece Murphy said...

Jeri, of all the folks who come here, I knew you would understand.

Michelle K said...

Y'know, on the first read, I thought you were actually writing about Ebola, and that this was your zombie entry.

So I was really confused, and waiting for the zombies to attack you and your dog.

I don't know if that makes things better, or worse.

mom in northern said...

Back when I had a real job we called them "the dry holes"...pour time and dollars in and get nothing in return.

I worked in the energy business...can you tell?

Janiece Murphy said...

Poor Michelle. I should of clarified for those who don't work in corporate America.

Mom, this project will actually generate revenue, so I'm not sure it's a Dry Hole, but I am wondering about the cost-benefit analysis...