If you have a child in the age range of below 10 you might be known with the television program ‘Phineas and Ferb’ on the Disney Channel. I actually personally happen to love that show. But to people who do not know the series (I seriously advice you to check it out), every story is a little bit the same; two genius little brothers who just have to find ways to pass time during their 104 days of summer vacation. What they end up doing each day is inventing the most fascinating things, giant structures etc. Their sister’s sole purpose in life is to bust the boys in showing their inventions to their parents, but every time they show up the whole contraption mysteriously has disappeared.
It is a little bit like IT actually. How many times I haven’t built things on request with the highest of high priorities and after days, weeks or sometimes months of hard work and excellent reviews…. * POOF * it’s gone. Most of the time before anyone was able to take a look.
The money that is almost literally burnt because of things that were not carefully planned, especially in the IT, is enormous. Simply because a manager, or CEO, goes online, sees something he/she likes and wants it too. And in the consultancy business, or actually in any IT business, that means, you have to build it. No matter how many times you tell them it has no functionality in your production, it will only prolong the development time by a week in a tight schedule and has no value whatsoever. You will be working on it. But at the time of delivery the interest of your boss/manager has already been distracted by someone or something else. And in the end, another week of work goes down the drain, worse, your boss/manager will blame you for not making the deadline.
In the end… there’s the * POOF * – and it is gone. Well, you wish it was, because you had to include the coding in your program code, that is now having an additional 1,000 lines of code it will never use.
Efficiency is still something people like to talk about, but is like a fata-morgana. And I’ll bet this not only goes for IT, but for every area of expertise. Not only is it a waste of time, it is a waste of money, but more importantly, it kills the passion for your team, which will have consequences for the quality and the speed of quality production in the future.
I have been working on a project too, of which, if I would even care of cleaning up the code right now, more then 60% of the code could be cleaned up. But it has no use, simply because the owner could not care about a project-plan and stick to it. It burnt about $5 million, without ever having any chance of survival.
Too bad. Because I am in this industry because of ambition, and the drive to do my work to the best of my abilities. These kind of projects are horrible for everyone involved, and in the end, just go to waste. So this is to every owner, or manager… stick with the plan. Once the plan is finalized, it is just that, finalized. No more changes or additions… get your hands off. Now you just have to manage it.