Friday, 18 November 2005

Insincerity of a non-purpose

A cause without a rebel
As one comes to the end of another project, one is in a quandary about how much has been achieved in the last few months.
My suspicions of the sincerity of purpose linger without respite.
As one was hired to help introduce a best practice methodology for a scheme that was implemented by personnel whose knowledge and experiences of an earlier version beclouded their ability to see the new features of the later.
That is excusable until the pressure of usage reveals tell-tale signs a sophisticated old version or a poorly implemented new version.
That management had identified part of the problem was significant and laudable, at least that is why one was hired.
Sacred cows for roast beef
However, once the job started of analysis and recommendation, endless meetings of consensus seeking validation stifled progress mostly through the resistance of the earlier implementers whose sacred cows were about to be massacred.
My candid opinion was that the system as it was could be improved upon and there was no need for a radical overhaul and design.
Others were hell-bent on a complete redesign, whilst the incumbents had the agenda of trying to revalidate their failing implementation time and time again by bringing in the vendor to vet all documents.
In the end, we have a repository of position documents, logged hours of debate and analysis but changed not one single thing – 5 months down the line.
Just talking the talk ONLY!
My questioning of the sincerity of purpose stems from the fact that a rationalisation is already happening without having put anything in place.
It looks like management is seeking to have some modicum of due-diligence done but have no intention of implementing any change.
Meanwhile, the lessons one has learnt would go far and can be codified into the following lessons.
  • Never offer your organisation up to be an early-adopter of any technology; you end up having to do it all over again 18 months down the line.
  • Master the technology at hand before implementing alternatives, other experts might wonder at your lack of fundamental knowledge.
  • Just because you are good at an automation process does not mean it would work for all applications.
  • The debate about implementing technologies once concluded at management level in terms of strategy and financing should be left to experts carry forward.
  • Once a technology is adopted, decisions should have expert delivery not democratic consensus.
Documentation is not completion
There are more lessons to learn in terms of the pace of change, but there is a delusion that documentation is fulfilment rather than it being the first part of an agreed process.
It is very likely that this time next year, the same old issues would still be the issues being discussed.

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