Status reports nobody reads

  • I while back, I worked for a company that required frequent status reports, at every level, with roll-ups from lower-level reports to each level, al the way up the chain.

    One week, I just didn't have the time, so I ignored it. Some manager griped to me, so I yanked about 3000+ lines of code and stack dumps that I was fighting with, pasted it into the status e-mail, and sent it on its way.

    A few days later, the top-level status report (several levels up) comes out, and apparently *someone* tried to read it, and found all the stack dumps, etc. It turns out that none of the 3 managers above me ever actually read the status reports, They only cared that we filed them.

    They never asked me to write another status report again (I worked there for 5 more years after that).


  • Ahh yes, the good old status reports.  We had the same thing at my current job.  I kept getting griped about it as well ... The project I was working on at the time I was getting hounded ended up taking nearly 4 months and 160,000 lines of code to make.  Every week I'd say "Working on X" but couldn't give any real status since its one of those programs where you can't really "finish" parts of it, since every part of it is dependant on other parts. 

    By about the fifth week of giving the same status report I got threatened with a write up if I didn't give an accurate report, so I zipped up the entire source code that I had written up to that point and stuck it on the intranet forum, sent another status report with nothing but a link to that thread ... The next day my boss sent me an email simply stating that I did not have to provide any further status reports.  Apparently he had opened the code up, looked through it, went cross eyed (He doesnt know C++), and was convinced I was atleast doing SOMETHING heh.

  • Gotta love managers who don't understand the stuff the people who work for them are working on!

  • That's not so much a WTF as it is SOP(Standard Operating Procedure).

  • I've become famous (infamous, even) for the terseness of my status reports.  I learned a long time ago that, if you give the PHB more information than he needs, he'll jump to some conclusion that must be "fixed" when the real problem really isn't a problem at all and certainly isn't an emergency.

  • One job I had, all of our web changes were released through installation builds, which the IT people would then run on the servers; for QA releases, this happened several times per week. 

    After some constant installation problems resulting from configuration, not having all required components installed, etc, we started releasing a detailed installation instructions with every build; the IT guys were required to read the instructions in full (about 5-10 pages) before performing an installation, to make sure everything was done properly. 

    After a while, it was clear that the instructions were not being read, even though they swore up and down that they were reading and following the instructions completely.

    One day, the IT manager gets all pissed off and pulls some of the dev managers together to chew them out.  After yet another failed installation, it turns out that after the first page of the instructions, the entire document was in the WingDings font.  The IT manager was irate, explaining that despite what everyone said, his guys always read and follow the instructions, so this kind of practical joke was not funny.  One of the dev managers admitted to making the changes, and then went on to explain that it was in fact funny, because he had been releasing the instructions in WingDings for over a month.

  • mooney:  That's front page material right there.

  • @Oscar L said:

    That's not so much a WTF as it is SOP(Standard Operating Procedure).

    In this case, it sounds like the SOP is the WTF.

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