The subjective consultant



  •  Hello,

    I work for a small company and have to wear many hats(add this feature to the web site, my email is not working, the network is down etc..). Recently, a consultant came into the company I work for to provide an assesment of I.T. operations. He had a couple gems in his report I will share with you 🙂

    The following came from a section of the report titled "Problematic Variables"

     

    "Open
    Source Solutions

    Although many open source solutions are available that will provide similar system functionality to a Windows environment at a lower cost; for mission critical hardware and software it’s important to follow industry standards and use products which can be easily supported if a staffing change were to occur."

    Another great line 

    "Creating objectives and timelines for projects is difficult for Mr. Many Hats given his inability to predict when a mission critical device will fail. The decision must be made to address hardware problems or ignore and continue with development. Having to make this judgment call should be addressed and corrected."

    My favorite part of the report is in the summary. The consultant copied and pasted ,verbatim, from his company's web site the types of services my company must possess inorder to be successful.

    The consultant is now for sending ERP vendors our way. AHHH....

     

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     Hopefully you have more pull with the Big Boss than the consultant does - otherwise, your whole operation is about to get turned upside down in painful ways.

     

    The fact that said consultant existed in the first place does not bode well for your future. 



  •  @Weng said:

     Hopefully you have more pull with the Big Boss than the consultant does - otherwise, your whole operation is about to get turned upside down in painful ways.

     

    The fact that said consultant existed in the first place does not bode well for your future. 

     The consultant has an enormous amount of pull with the big boss :(.



  • @OSvsOS said:

    "Creating
    objectives and timelines for projects is difficult for Mr. Many Hats given his
    inability to predict when a mission critical device will fail. The
    decision must be made to address hardware problems or ignore and
    continue with development. Having to make this judgment call should
    be addressed and corrected."

    I don't see anything wrong with this, other than its dry wording. Basically, they're saying, "You've given this guy a job which is by definition impossible - to magically know when devices will fail. You are setting him up for failure. If you don't want him to eventually fail, fix this problem." Of course, it would be nice if said consultant actually provided some solutions to the problem instead of just saying, "This is probably going to fail."



  • @OSvsOS said:

     @Weng said:

     Hopefully you have more pull with the Big Boss than the consultant does - otherwise, your whole operation is about to get turned upside down in painful ways.

     

    The fact that said consultant existed in the first place does not bode well for your future. 

     The consultant has an enormous amount of pull with the big boss :(.

    Time to refill the halon dump in the server room, I guess. 



  • @OSvsOS said:

    I work for a small company and have to wear many hats(add this feature to the web site, my email is not working, the network is down etc..).

     @OSvsOS said:

    Another great line 

    "Creating objectives and timelines for projects is difficult for Mr. Many Hats given his inability to predict when a mission critical device will fail. The decision must be made to address hardware problems or ignore and continue with development. Having to make this judgment call should be addressed and corrected."

    I had a very similar situation in my previous job.  You have to understand that PHBs are very simple creatures, and they are made anxious by complexities such as plans that change and unexpected occurrences.  The thing to do is to reassure them that you'll always keep them promptly up-to-date when something goes off-track for reasons of an interruption, and to suggest that they could keep an eye on the level of interruptions you get over time, try and come up with some figure that'll do as a rough average fraction-of-your-time-that-goes-off-track-per-week, and factor that into their timescales when doing planning.

    It might or might not work, but it makes them happier to feel that they "have a handle on it"!

     



  • @DaveK said:

    I had a very similar situation in my previous job.  You have to understand that PHBs are very simple creatures, and they are made anxious by complexities such as plans that change and unexpected occurrences.  The thing to do is to reassure them that you'll always keep them promptly up-to-date when something goes off-track for reasons of an interruption, and to suggest that they could keep an eye on the level of interruptions you get over time, try and come up with some figure that'll do as a rough average fraction-of-your-time-that-goes-off-track-per-week, and factor that into their timescales when doing planning.

    It might or might not work, but it makes them happier to feel that they "have a handle on it"!

     

     I tried explaining to our operations manager and CEO that I.T. projects are not on time because other groups within the business work with the "ready, fire, aim" philosophy. This requires a substantial amount of my time to tweak their reactive business strategy to aging software that has been around since before people realized PHP could use objects :). 



  • @OSvsOS said:

     I tried explaining to our operations manager and CEO that I.T. projects are not on time because other groups within the business work with the "ready, fire, aim" philosophy. This requires a substantial amount of my time to tweak their reactive business strategy to aging software that has been around since before people realized PHP could use objects :). 

     

    You mean that people have realized that PHP can use objects??

    ... I kid.  



  • @OSvsOS said:

    My favorite part of the report is in the summary. The consultant copied and pasted ,verbatim, from his company's web site the types of services my company must possess inorder to be successful.
     

    This deserves a side-by-side highlighted printout left on your boss' desk when he's out of his office.  Or, if you prefer, an emailed screenshot of same (wooden table optional).  At least make him think twice about it.



  •  @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    @OSvsOS said:

     I tried explaining to our operations manager and CEO that I.T. projects are not on time because other groups within the business work with the "ready, fire, aim" philosophy. This requires a substantial amount of my time to tweak their reactive business strategy to aging software that has been around since before people realized PHP could use objects :). 

     

    You mean that people have realized that PHP can use objects??

    ... I kid.

    There are parts of the codebase which use a design pattern called "do not trust the database". There is backend bash script that dumps SQL data out into CSV formatted file(the files have a .sql extension wtf?). The PHP code then parses the CSV files. When I asked the previous developer why he just stated that the pages where taking too long to load and that this technique made it faster.



  • @OSvsOS said:

    "Open Source Solutions

    Although many open source solutions are available that will provide similar system functionality to a Windows environment at a lower cost; for mission critical hardware and software it’s important to follow industry standards and use products which can be easily supported if a staffing change were to occur."

    There are reasons why some shops don't use OSS and they're good and valid. However, staffing changes are not really a valid reason. The fact that commercial software is supported is a good reason though. Also the fact that if things go pear shaped, there's someone else who the lawyers can attack. That seems completley pointless for a small organisation though.

    I don't necessarily agree that that's a good thing, but it seems to be the case.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    @OSvsOS said:

     I tried explaining to our operations manager and CEO that I.T. projects are not on time because other groups within the business work with the "ready, fire, aim" philosophy. This requires a substantial amount of my time to tweak their reactive business strategy to aging software that has been around since before people realized PHP could use objects :). 

     

    You mean that people have realized that PHP can use objects??

    ... I kid.  

     

     You mean that PHP can use objects!!??



  • @DaEagle said:

    There are reasons why some shops don't use OSS and they're good and valid. However, staffing changes are not really a valid reason. The fact that commercial software is supported is a good reason though. Also the fact that if things go pear shaped, there's someone else who the lawyers can attack.

    Your sentences were correct. But it makes no sense to put them together. You speak of OSS, commercial responsibility and support as if they were connected in any way at all.

    Most serious OSS project developers will happily sign support contracts - just ask about it. If the original developers don't want to, but the project is big enough - just ask the community about consultants - you should find a few.
    Some very serious OSS projects will have support people ready to sign SLA-s if needed.
    OSS doesn't have to be free either. For some projects it was a business plan all the time - release the source and charge for services.

    And if anyone thinks they can go after closed-source+commercial+supporting developers with lawyers, they should read the licenses first. It's more likely that they will be left without updates, money and ability to read their backups instead 😉



  • @DaveK said:

    @OSvsOS said:

     @Weng said:

     Hopefully you have more pull with the Big Boss than the consultant does - otherwise, your whole operation is about to get turned upside down in painful ways.

     

    The fact that said consultant existed in the first place does not bode well for your future. 

     The consultant has an enormous amount of pull with the big boss :(.

    Time to refill the halon dump in the server room, I guess. 

     

     

    At the end of the work day, my boss asked if I would be willing to become a contractor? Anybody hiring a PHP telecommuter? 🙂


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.