The only thing worse than too much process is no process at all



  • Yesterday we got a group-wide email from our department head.

    One of our bigger customers was very "concerned" because they couldn't reach their two points of contact (both are on vacation) or their stand-in (who was at the dentist's at the time).

    Minor bump, not that hard to fixed. Unfortunately it brought something else to light: Nobody who was at the office knew about the state of the project, as in, what tasks are still open, what is finished, when is the next delivery (turned out to be in two weeks). The stand-in also didn't have that information (learned through an email exchange via his phone).

    After a bit of a mad scramble to dig through old emails by multiple people we kind of got a picture of where we're standing and it's surprisingly good. But it made it blindingly obvious that we have no proper coordination and no real process.

    Our work is managed almost exclusively through JIRA tasks. A new project is started and a lot of tasks are written and assigned to people. Sometimes our team lead will poke his head in the door and just tell someone to add a task to his queue (which requires the cooperation of multiple people). Then it's forgotten about. There is almost no information about priorities or about what has to be done when and our team lead is in meetings for most of his time.

    We have a weekly 2-hour team meeting where everyone spends 10 minutes talking about what they did last week and a lot of tangential discussion. Coordination for tasks works on the rumor system: Developer A gets a task that requires cooperation, so he goes to developer B's office and tells him about it. Developer B notices that they could use the help of developer C, so it's passed on (with signal degradation), etc.

    That works about as well as you'd expect. Add to that that every developer owns the code he writes and the resulting quality differences and I'm seriously wondering how anything here works at all.



  • You need a Project Manager. Someone who's entire job is to keep track of the project, provide status reports, grease the wheels.

    This should not be someone actively developing.



  • @dynedain said:

    You need a Project Manager. Someone who's entire job is to keep track of the project, provide status reports, grease the wheels.

    This should not be someone actively developing.

    Our team lead is the project manager for this project on paper. He isn't doing much project managing though. Or developing. He is also on vacation until the middle of August.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @witchdoctor said:

    Our team lead is the project manager for this project on paper. He isn't doing much project managing though. Or developing. He is also on vacation until the middle of August.
    PMs need holidays too!

    Take some time off yourself (really!) or try to work on tasks that require little cooperation. And let the client know that things are going to be slack until the PM gets back because you're not big enough to have two competent PMs on the same project; very few projects are that big.

    Heck, most IT projects I've heard of that were large enough to justify a real competent PM tag team were ones that needed a competent PM in the first place. Cue the “gub'mint waste by incompetence” rant thread, though bear in mind that large corporations can get in just as big a mess; they just usually cover it up better to boost the price that the CEO's stock options vest at. Bigger organizations support bigger fuckups; that's all.



  • @dkf said:

    @witchdoctor said:
    Our team lead is the project manager for this project on paper. He isn't doing much project managing though. Or developing. He is also on vacation until the middle of August.
    PMs need holidays too!

    Take some time off yourself (really!) or try to work on tasks that require little cooperation. And let the client know that things are going to be slack until the PM gets back because you're not big enough to have two competent PMs on the same project; very few projects are that big.

    Heck, most IT projects I've heard of that were large enough to justify a real competent PM tag team were ones that needed a competent PM in the first place. Cue the “gub'mint waste by incompetence” rant thread, though bear in mind that large corporations can get in just as big a mess; they just usually cover it up better to boost the price that the CEO's stock options vest at. Bigger organizations support bigger fuckups; that's all.

    The "process" I described in the OP is how this project is "managed". I don't begrudge him his vacation at all, everyone needs a vacation. Would've been nice to inform the client beforehand or inform one of the people not on vacation that the client wants something delivered at such-and-such date though.



  • @witchdoctor said:

    Our team lead is the project manager for this project on paper. He isn't doing much project managing though. Or developing. He is also on vacation until the middle of August.

    Maybe you need an excuse calendar to get you there.



  • @Ronald said:

    do you

    Looks like one of my girlfriends, except mine has bigger boobs. [i]Yahoo[/i]!

     



  • @D-Coder said:

    @Ronald said:

    do you

    Looks like one of my girlfriends, except mine has bigger boobs. Yahoo!

     

    Sure, your girlfriends that live in a different town and that you met at summer camp and that nobody has ever seen



  • @witchdoctor said:

    A new project is started and a lot of tasks are written and assigned to people. Sometimes our team lead will poke his head in the door and just tell someone to add a task to his queue (which requires the cooperation of multiple people). Then it's forgotten about. There is almost no information about priorities or about what has to be done when and our team lead is in meetings for most of his time.

    (...) Developer A gets a task that requires cooperation, so he goes to developer B's office and tells him about it. Developer B notices that they could use the help of developer C, so it's passed on (with signal degradation), etc.

    (...) a mad scramble to dig through old emails by multiple people (...)

     

    The only thing preventing me from suspecting you work at the same place as me is the fact the tasks are written, that current trend hasn't yet been adopted here.

     



  • @Ronald said:

    @witchdoctor said:

    Our team lead is the project manager for this project on paper. He isn't doing much project managing though. Or developing. He is also on vacation until the middle of August.

    Maybe you need an excuse calendar to get you there.

    Or maybe take up (another) religion.



  • @witchdoctor said:

    I don't begrudge him his vacation at all, everyone needs a vacation. Would've been nice to inform the client beforehand or inform one of the people not on vacation that the client wants something delivered at such-and-such date though.

    You didn't mention when his vacation started, but there are a couple of week still left in July, so this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?



  • @boomzilla said:

    @witchdoctor said:
    I don't begrudge him his vacation at all, everyone needs a vacation. Would've been nice to inform the client beforehand or inform one of the people not on vacation that the client wants something delivered at such-and-such date though.

    You didn't mention when his vacation started, but there are a couple of week still left in July, so this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?

    I took 3 months off in 2012, and that was my busiest year since 2008. Working is overrated. If I have a choice I prefer to do something else, like learning to play the clarinet (maybe next year).



  • @Ronald said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @witchdoctor said:
    I don't begrudge him his vacation at all, everyone needs a vacation. Would've been nice to inform the client beforehand or inform one of the people not on vacation that the client wants something delivered at such-and-such date though.

    You didn't mention when his vacation started, but there are a couple of week still left in July, so this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?

    I took 3 months off in 2012, and that was my busiest year since 2008. Working is overrated. If I have a choice I prefer to do something else, like learning to play the clarinet (maybe next year).

    So, what do you do? Were you responsible for some ongoing project during those three months? If so, did you not bother to have someone fill in for you or did you just abandon your customers and coworkers like the PM in the OP? I prefer more and shorter periods of time off than a few very long ones.



  • His vacation is 4 weeks, started this Monday. And leaving for a month can be handled if there is either a) preparation or b) constant communication so people know what's going on anyway. Unfortunately we don't have either.



  • @Ronald said:

    Sure, your girlfriends that live in a different town and that you met at summer camp and that nobody has ever seen
     

    No, this is his other girlfriend, who lives in Canada. (audio NSFW)

     



  • @Ronald said:

    @D-Coder said:

    @Ronald said:

    do you
    Looks like one of my girlfriends, except mine has bigger boobs. Yahoo!

     

    Sure, your girlfriends that live in a different town and that you met at summer camp and that nobody has ever seen

    So, one of us claims to have hot girlfriends, and has made 87 posts to TDWTF in five years.

    And one
    of us without any evidence
    whatsoever slags another poster for claiming to have hot
    girlfriends, and has made 829 posts to TDWTF in two months.

    I know which one of us has a life.

     



  • @D-Coder said:

    @Ronald said:

    @D-Coder said:

    @Ronald said:

    do you
    Looks like one of my girlfriends, except mine has bigger boobs. Yahoo!

     

    Sure, your girlfriends that live in a different town and that you met at summer camp and that nobody has ever seen

    So, one of us claims to have hot girlfriends, and has made 87 posts to TDWTF in five years.

    And one
    of us without any evidence
    whatsoever slags another poster for claiming to have hot
    girlfriends, and has made 829 posts to TDWTF in two months.

    I know which one of us has a life.

     

    I have umpteen posts and -1 girlfriends (zero-indexed). At least I'm being truthful.



  • @boomzilla said:

    this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?
    Who would approve such a thing?  Anyone who doesn't work for a WTF company and who doesn't spend all day running in circles chasing after a hundred different super-urgent-critical problems.  The company I work for has it's share of WTFs, but its reasonably well run and I take a 4 week vaction almost every year.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @boomzilla said:

    this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?
    Who would approve such a thing?  Anyone who doesn't work for a WTF company and who doesn't spend all day running in circles chasing after a hundred different super-urgent-critical problems.  The company I work for has it's share of WTFs, but its reasonably well run and I take a 4 week vaction almost every year.

    I take a 51 week vacation every year. On the remaining week(s), I phone in sick.



  • @Ronald said:

    If I have a choice I prefer to do something else, like learning to play the clarinet (maybe next year).

    It's a lot like sucking a wang, which I'm sure you're very accomplished at.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @boomzilla said:

    this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?
    Who would approve such a thing?  Anyone who doesn't work for a WTF company and who doesn't spend all day running in circles chasing after a hundred different super-urgent-critical problems.  The company I work for has it's share of WTFs, but its reasonably well run and I take a 4 week vaction almost every year.

    I take a 51 week vacation every year. On the remaining week(s), I phone in sick.

    Ahh, to be a child again..


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @El_Heffe said:

    @boomzilla said:

    this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?
    Who would approve such a thing?  Anyone who doesn't work for a WTF company and who doesn't spend all day running in circles chasing after a hundred different super-urgent-critical problems.  The company I work for has it's share of WTFs, but its reasonably well run and I take a 4 week vaction almost every year.

    Wow, the longest vacation I've ever had was two weeks and I felt bad about it.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @boomzilla said:

    this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?
    Who would approve such a thing?  Anyone who doesn't work for a WTF company and who doesn't spend all day running in circles chasing after a hundred different super-urgent-critical problems.  The company I work for has it's share of WTFs, but its reasonably well run and I take a 4 week vaction almost every year.

    Wow, the longest vacation I've ever had was two weeks and I felt bad about it.

    The longest vacation I ever had was 15 years. I am ambivalent about it.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    @El_Heffe said:

    @boomzilla said:

    this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible. Who would approve such a thing?
    Who would approve such a thing?  Anyone who doesn't work for a WTF company and who doesn't spend all day running in circles chasing after a hundred different super-urgent-critical problems.  The company I work for has it's share of WTFs, but its reasonably well run and I take a 4 week vaction almost every year.

    Wow, the longest vacation I've ever had was two weeks and I felt bad about it.

    The longest vacation I ever had was 15 years. I am ambivalent about it.


    Wow, that must have been nice. Except you're my age, and you said your salary has doubled every couple of years... So I don't get it. Did you never go to school? Beat yourself up and blame your boss?



  • @D-Coder said:

    @Ronald said:

    @D-Coder said:

    @Ronald said:

    do you
    Looks like one of my girlfriends, except mine has bigger boobs. Yahoo!

     

    Sure, your girlfriends that live in a different town and that you met at summer camp and that nobody has ever seen

    So, one of us claims to have hot girlfriends, and has made 87 posts to TDWTF in five years.

    And one
    of us without any evidence
    whatsoever slags another poster for claiming to have hot
    girlfriends, and has made 829 posts to TDWTF in two months.

    I know which one of us has a life.

     

    You just used one of your 17.5 yearly posts to brag about having multiple girlfriends, with at least one having "big boobs" (your words). Then you use another one of those rare posting events to high-five yourself about winning a "who has a life" competition. Obviously you failed at being some kind of a Silent Bob but at least we all can be thankful for all the childish content you did not post over those five years.

    Also just a quick reminder: to be considered a girlfriend, a girl must fall in that sweet spot between being aware that the guy exists and having to get a TRO. So you can probably strike Rihanna and that girl from Starbucks from your list of girlfriends but that does not mean you don't have a life, it just means it's a pathetic one.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    So I don't get it. Did you never go to school?

    I wasn't counting public school, since I just spent my time sleeping or reading.



  • @Ronald said:

    Also just a quick reminder: to be considered a girlfriend, a girl must fall in that sweet spot between being aware that the guy exists and having to get a TRO.

    Actually, a lot of TROs are against significant others.

    Also, I'm amused you called it a TRO without so much as a second thought. How many have you had?

    Also also, I didn't know that was Marissa Mayer. Then I GIS'd her, and like 40% of the photos are of this perky, hot chick. Then the other 60% are:



    Which, I wouldn't even let that give me a beej, so clearly Ms. Mayer gets a lot of photoshopping.



  • @Ben L. said:

    I have umpteen posts and -1 girlfriends (zero-indexed). At least I'm being truthful.

    Your situation is not difficult to fix.

    1. Cut you hair.
    2. Get in shape. Given your apparent BMI you are not that far gone yet.
    3. Stop the cat shelter thing. It's weird.
    4. Be a bully to someone. Target weaker kids or be rude to 7-11 clerks. You need to get some testosterone flowing.
    5. Leave your mama's house.


    If you don't follow my advice you will end up with a fat girlfriend, and this is a one-way road that you should not consider while you still have other choices.

    Your mom won't tell you those things because that's what moms do, they put the ego and comfort before the long-term well-being.



  • @Ronald said:

    Target weaker kids

    I'm trying to think of the kind of kid Ben could bully. Quadriplegic, maybe? Oh, but those electric wheelchairs have pretty good stamina, so make sure you check off #2 first..



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Also, I'm amused you called it a TRO without so much as a second thought. How many have you had?

    My college sweetheart (we are not together anymore) had to get one because a guy was stalking her big time. She works in HR, and the guy was a former colleague she had to shitcan. At first he kept calling her and left creepy voicemails about them being soul mates and even showed up a few times with flowers, then he started sending long romantic emails, then the emails became obscene and he even started sending pictures of his dick. He kept opening new Facebook and email accounts to get around her filters. Then he sent her lingerie at work, and when declined the gift he left the panties with obvious cum stains hanging on the windshield of her car and called her to ask if she liked them better that way. That's when she called the cops.

    That happened while I was out of the country and when I heard about it was all over, otherwise I would have handled this myself. It's not the first time she had that kind of problem; while we were in college she was working at the mall and some creepy guy kept coming in the boutique and rub his hard-on on her while she was helping other customers. She was coming home in tears, she had to quit and even spent an entire semester leaving home only for school.

    Girls are like spoiled children and they are very selfish but I have to say, they put up with a lot of shit so I'm not very patient with obvious creeps.



  • @Ronald said:

    If you don't follow my advice you will end up with a fat girlfriend

    Unless your advice will make girls avoid me, NO DEAL.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ronald said:
    Target weaker kids

    I'm trying to think of the kind of kid Ben could bully. Quadriplegic, maybe? Oh, but those electric wheelchairs have pretty good stamina, so make sure you check off #2 first..

    He could start with fat girls and make his way up: Asian girls, flamboyant gays, chess club members, then guys with Al Yankovic hairdos.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Unless your advice will make girls avoid me, NO DEAL.

    Are you gay or do you just hate women



  • @Ronald said:

    some creepy guy kept coming in the boutique and rub his hard-on on her while she was helping other customers.

    Yeah, sorry about that..

    Seriously, though, WTF?



  • @Ben L. said:

    @Ronald said:
    If you don't follow my advice you will end up with a fat girlfriend

    Unless your advice will make girls avoid me, NO DEAL.

    Is Ben Gay?



  • @Ronald said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Ronald said:
    Target weaker kids

    I'm trying to think of the kind of kid Ben could bully. Quadriplegic, maybe? Oh, but those electric wheelchairs have pretty good stamina, so make sure you check off #2 first..

    He could start with fat girls and make his way up: Asian girls, flamboyant gays, chess club members, then guys with Al Yankovic hairdos.

    Dude, fat girls can hit. It's all that inertia they're carrying around. I don't want to see Ben with his spine in traction.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ben L. said:
    @Ronald said:
    If you don't follow my advice you will end up with a fat girlfriend

    Unless your advice will make girls avoid me, NO DEAL.

    Is Ben Gay?

    I see what you did there.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ben L. said:
    @Ronald said:
    If you don't follow my advice you will end up with a fat girlfriend

    Unless your advice will make girls non-feline mammals avoid me, NO DEAL.

    Is Ben Gay?

    FTFM


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Ben L. said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Ben L. said:
    @Ronald said:
    If you don't follow my advice you will end up with a fat girlfriend

    Unless your advice will make girls non-feline mammals avoid me, NO DEAL.

    Is Ben Gay?

    FTFM


    Oh, he's a furry!

    Is anyone surprised?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Ronald said:
    some creepy guy kept coming in the boutique and rub his hard-on on her while she was helping other customers.

    Yeah, sorry about that..

    Seriously, though, WTF?

    As a joke I once told her to stop teasing him with her cute little butt. Turns out that she would have prefered that I kick his ass and things were ugly for a while.

    The thing is that one time in high school I got in trouble because after a guy insulted my would-be girlfriend I dragged him by his foot across the entire cafeteria at lunch time and emptied a trash can on him (it was pizza day so it was messy). I don't share that story with girlfriends anymore because they expect me to go all Charles Bronson when a guy bothers them, but at the same time they call me a caveman for it. Bitches be bitches.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Ben L. said:
    @Ronald said:
    If you don't follow my advice you will end up with a fat girlfriend

    Unless your advice will make girls non-feline mammals avoid me, NO DEAL.

    Is Ben Gay?

    FTFM

    So.. yes? I mean, I don't think you said "make girls avoid me" for the hell of it.. Were you trying to tell us something?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    Wow, the longest vacation I've ever had was two weeks and I felt bad about it.
    Why?



  • @boomzilla said:

    @witchdoctor said:
    I don't begrudge him his vacation at all, everyone needs a vacation. Would've been nice to inform the client beforehand or inform one of the people not on vacation that the client wants something delivered at such-and-such date though.

    You didn't mention when his vacation started, but there are a couple of week still left in July, so this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible.

    Which bit is terrible? The "leaving for a month" bit or the "like that" bit? If the former, there's nothing wrong with that - I've had the whole of December off for a couple of years running to use up my holiday ('use it or lose it' is Dec 31st - yes that is a WTF). But it's always been planned long in advance with cover/work sorted before the end of November, I've always been contactable in 'emergencies' (only once did I have to work for a couple of days), and usually keep an eye on work email, and it's never been a problem.



    If the latter, then I totally agree.



  • @PJH said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @witchdoctor said:
    I don't begrudge him his vacation at all, everyone needs a vacation. Would've been nice to inform the client beforehand or inform one of the people not on vacation that the client wants something delivered at such-and-such date though.

    You didn't mention when his vacation started, but there are a couple of week still left in July, so this vacation is more like a fucking sabbatical. Leaving for a month like that is terrible.


    Which bit is terrible? The "leaving for a month" bit or the "like that" bit? If the former, there's nothing wrong with that - I've had the whole of December off for a couple of years running to use up my holiday ('use it or lose it' is Dec 31st - yes that is a WTF). But it's always been planned long in advance with cover/work sorted before the end of November, I've always been contactable in 'emergencies' (only once did I have to work for a couple of days), and usually keep an eye on work email, and it's never been a problem.

    TRWTF is planning to go away for that period of time and not making proper arrangements. Though personally, I wouldn't want to be away for that period of time. What you did was sensible in the circumstances. My company allows you to sell unused leave, which I take advantage of. Even after a couple of weeks, coming back always feels really weird. I prefer to not go away for more than 2, preferably more like a week or a week and a half.

    There's no way I could afford to travel for the whole month, anyway, so I'd end up hanging around at home. Woo hoo!



  • @boomzilla said:

    My company allows you to sell unused leave, which I take advantage of.
    Largely illegal/restricted in the UK (Getting paid instead of taking holidays section at the end). More specifically, if you're full time, you cannot sell below 28 days holiday a year. (e.g. if you have 35 days holiday a year, you can sell 7 of them but no more.)



  • @PJH said:

    @boomzilla said:
    My company allows you to sell unused leave, which I take advantage of.
    Largely illegal/restricted in the UK (Getting paid instead of taking holidays section at the end). More specifically, if you're full time, you cannot sell below 28 days holiday a year. (e.g. if you have 35 days holiday a year, you can sell 7 of them but no more.)

    Fucking fascists.


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