What, you never said it had to work



  • Just wondering how popular this is...

    For a project that is nothing to do with any existing project (ie, completely standalone), management decided that we get an outside company to do it as it'll be quicker and cheaper than hiring contractor on site, since the rest of us have too much work load already (normally doesn't stop them, but now that stuff simply doesn't get done, they are finally realising, after a 4 hour meeting, that we can only do so much)

    They find the perfect company to take up the task in Guangdong, China. After a painful conference call where they were constantly dropping out, management decides email is better, we finally get to the end and they come back with "3 months" to implement. No good, says management, we need to ship in 3 months, so 2 months tops. The company agrees to the new deadline.

    Well, here we are 2 months after that and surely enough, they delivered the code on the Friday just gone. Upon trying it, the application crashes on startup. Emails back and forth speaking to the managers (as all the workers had gone home due to time zone differences) and they come up with the most excellent response (converted from chinglish to english)

    "We delivered in 2 months as you requested. We know it doesn't work. We require 3 months for that. If you require it working, please wait 1 month more."

    Now management wants us to fix the code to meet the original deadline (we don't have time to wait for China) and came up with another excellent response:

    "Skip testing, we don't have time for that. Just make it work."

    We don't even have the source code.

    I feel a few sicks days coming on :smile:


  • SockDev

    What are your managers smoking? and will they share?


  • SockDev

    @Mole said:

    "Skip testing, we don't have time for that. Just make it work."

    We don't even have the source code.


    Klaxon alarm sound used in many films from the 60's - 2000's Vol1 (Cinesound) – 01:14
    — jamesuk9999

    @accalia said:
    [image]

    May not be an MLP fan, but damn girl, that image works!

    <!-- Emoji'd by MobileEmoji 0.2.0-->

  • BINNED

    @Mole said:

    "Skip testing, we don't have time for that. Just make it work."

    Obligatory: http://www.thedailywtf.com/articles/Make-It-Work


  • SockDev

    @RaceProUK said:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2VhB7vaZI0

    all that's going through my head on hearing that is:


  • BINNED

    Ok, we should stop the offtopic now :P


  • SockDev

    @Onyx said:

    Ok, we should stop the offtopic now

    good point.

    i forgot what effect even on topic image memes have....

    anyway, in reply to the OP..... DAMN! your managers are messed up.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Mole said:

    "We delivered in 2 months as you requested. We know it doesn't work. We require 3 months for that. If you require it working, please wait 1 month more."

    Good for them! I like that response.


  • SockDev

    Still, two months and the app doesn't even start… that's some grade :A: :hankey: right there…

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  • area_deu

    Something for [url=http://what.thedailywtf.com/t/things-i-wish-i-could-say-to-my-customers/8117]this thread[/url]?


  • BINNED

    @dkf said:

    Good for them! I like that response.

    You know... I can already imagine a thread in a few days...

    So this company asked of us to create an application in 2 months. <explanation of why that is impossible>. Stupid management said yes, and we shipped something that doesn't work. Stupid management!


  • Fake News

    Dicksource why your Delete This Post button no workee?


  • Fake News

    :spittake:

    I'm surprised (well, not really, depending on their pedigree) that your gweilo managers expected different results. Good fucking luck to them if they try to sue. I assume a significant amount of money has already made a (one-way) trip to Guangdong?



  • @lolwhat said:

    I'm surprised (well, not really, depending on their pedigree) that your gweilo managers expected different results. Good fucking luck to them if they try to sue. I assume a significant amount of money has already made a (one-way) trip to Guangdong?

    Only about £10,000 (about 100,000 CNY I think that is?). There will be an emergency meeting tomorrow no doubt about what to do; why we can't pull something out of our ass, organising a trip to Guangdong to see if we can speed things up, etc.

    Of course, we've already signed a contract that says we'll deliver, which of course contains penalties if we don't deliver on time. Naturally, the contract with China doesn't include such clauses.

    I think this is suitable:


  • Fake News

    Given what you've been telling us their responses have been, the money is almost certainly gone for good. A trip to China will probably do nothing. How's the job market in your area?


  • SockDev

    @Mole said:

    Of course, we've already signed a contract that says we'll deliver, which of course contains penalties if we don't deliver on time. Naturally, the contract with China doesn't include such clauses.

    <!-- Emoji'd by MobileEmoji 0.2.0-->

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Mole said:

    Of course, we've already signed a contract that says we'll deliver, which of course contains penalties if we don't deliver on time. Naturally, the contract with China doesn't include such clauses.

    You guys are screwed. The chance you'll get three months of work (on making your own version) done in under a month are damn close to zero, and the likelihood of fixing up that Chinese code isn't much better. Adding warm bodies won't help; the extra time to coordinate everything will prevent success.

    Your only slight chance is if it is a project that is actually something that one smart person with the right tool can do in a month. There's no guarantee that that's actually true, at least of anyone you can get in the time available. And if it is true, you'll have wasted a load of money for no good reason. :smile:

    With such talent for precisely manœuvring yourselves into unavoidable disaster, I have to wonder whether your bosses work for the British Civil Service in IT project procurement…



  • @Mole said:

    outside company to do it as it'll be quicker and cheaper than hiring contractor on site

    You get what you pay for. What amazes me is that managers involved in IT still make this stupid mistakes. At least you've got to give it to the other company that they made a pretty good estimate.

    And how you're expected to fix this thing without the code?


  • Fake News

    @Eldelshell said:

    they made a pretty good estimate

    Assuming they can get it working in 3 months.
    Even Paula can deliver something in 2 months, it just won't amount to much.



  • @Mole said:

    "We delivered in 2 months as you requested. We know it doesn't work. We require 3 months for that. If you require it working, please wait 1 month more."

    Either something was lost in translation during the initial negotiation phase of this project, or these guys are magnificent bastards. (My suspicion is probably the former though...)



  • i think Fred Brooks was the one who said: "I can deliver an infinite amount of features in almost zero time, as long as they don't have to work"



  • @tar said:

    Either something was lost in translation during the initial negotiation phase of this project, or these guys are magnificent bastards. (My suspicion is probably the former though...)

    To be honest, I'd guess at about 500 hours for the project, so 3 months sounds reasonable. If I was to do it myself it would probably take longer, as I'm talking working hours as I'm normally dragged into meetings and helping other co-workers, so guess around 25 hours per week on my own projects. Yes, I spend about 10 hours a week in meetings, and about 5 hours helping others (or having a friendly chat disguised as work) and I don't do overtime.



  • Another WTF in this story: in those two months, no alpha deliveries were requested? No one took to look at the progress? I'm on the other side, and we try to give our clients as much visibility of the project as they want with per-sprint delivery and access to CI builds in case they want to check stuff daily.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Eldelshell said:

    Another WTF in this story: in those two months, no alpha deliveries were requested?

    That's a pretty short project. Adding such things in will make it take longer. Once the project gets out to 6 months or so, it's worthwhile, but 2 months is about at the point when the first alpha might be expected. Even with an agile methodology, you'd be unlikely to really get more than 2 sprints done in that time, and the first sprint is usually spent just figuring out what the project's got to do in detail, collecting and processing user stories, etc. (Anyone claiming that all that stuff doesn't belong in a sprint is just deluding themselves; it belongs in the project even if most of the developers are doing something else in that time.)

    @Mole's bosses done fucked up real good. Time for them to go grovelling to the customer.

    (I wonder if there was originally plenty of time, but it got wasted on some sort of management argument and they've subsequently run out of time through sheer stupidity. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen that happen, or the last.)



  • @dkf said:

    (I wonder if there was originally plenty of time, but it got wasted on some sort of management argument and they've subsequently run out of time through sheer stupidity. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen that happen, or the last.)

    I'm reminded of the one time I was on a team that was handed a project 4 weeks before the end of a financial quarter with the objective of posting a profit that quarter...



    1. Wilful Stupidity WTF: This is the conglomerate failure that got me good at answering stupid questions: Yes, it has to be tested for it to work.
    2. Power Corruption WTF: Since your experimental-strain-smoking management planned a project to be off-shored on a 2-month deadline, without a contingency plan for when it inevitably lacked a third of the delivery to match the third shaved off the development time, one assumes their lack of technical experience is being displaced by their skills in scapegoating (e.g., now it's your problem).
    3. Spec WTF: I would bet some minor personal glory that the spec was not written such that they couldn't simply put holes in it. Perhaps when translated into Chinese it doesn't need to function, the code just needs to have these functions. Also, did you say they sent over the source code? If so, how do you not have the source code? I sense an inter-departmental WTF.
    4. Telephone WTF: Bell had a great idea at the time, but why in the name of Cthulhu would anyone have an important discussion in audio over a long distance with a strangled bandwidth? If you're going to engage a glorified turing test, call it what it is, and stop trying to use it as the main means of communication. We have the written word for a reason.


  • I can imagine a conversation along these lines, with some "lost in translation" shenanigans along the way:

    Company A: We need to have the following product built. We estimate it will take three months to develop in house.
    Guangdong: We can do it in three months also.
    Company A: We need to see it in two months.
    Guangdong: Of course.

    [two months later]

    Company A: Ok, can we see the product?
    Guangdong: Sure.
    Company A: It doesn't work!
    Guangdong: Of course not! We're still a month from completing it!



  • This is just run-of-the-mill management stupidity causing another project to become victim to the Mythical Man-Month. Seriously, any project for which the manager's think they can reduce engineering time by wishing really, really hard, deserves to fail.

    Unless such shenanigans are par for the industry, where engineering time is unreasonably cut during planning, then it just takes the whole original estimate anyway. Unfortunately, I work in one such industry,



  • @tar said:

    one time I was on a team that was handed a project 4 weeks before the end of a financial quarter with the objective of posting a profit that quarter...

    The phrase "knock over a liquor store" comes to mind.



  • Better Dilbert (probably the one the Chinese used):



  • Never tell management how long you think a task will actually take! N00b error from Dilbert there.


  • BINNED

    @tar said:

    Never tell management how long you think a task will actually take! N00b error from Dilbert there.

    Listen to Scotty – [00:10..00:44] 00:44
    — Wayne Lee



  • I think this is the best possible response to a deadline that simply isn't going to happen.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Mole said:

    "We delivered in 2 months as you requested. We know it doesn't work. We require 3 months for that. If you require it working, please wait 1 month more."

    Good, fast, cheap. You can pick two.



  • Sometimes neither "fast" nor "cheap" are available options.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Polygeekery said:

    Good, fast, cheap. You can pick up to two.

    FTFY :(


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Touchė



  • "We delivered in 2 months as requested. We know it doesn't work"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOfwbqcdFvg



  • @tar said:

    Company A: We need to see it in two months
    Guangdong: Of course.

    I like it.


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