Saturday, October 23, 2010

Deadlines and checkpoints

Ryan profileThe computer has (again) suffered a glitch, with the operating system choosing to ignore the wireless card.  I can still run the internet off a LAN wire, but it means working offline for a while, then running to make a connection to upload and download, then disconnecting to rejoin the office.  Sony is chewing through the problem by remote access, but without success so far.

I’m back in the US for a few days, trying to regain momentum on the development project I’m advising.  It’s entered the ‘death march’ stage, where everyone feels like the device is 90% complete, but milestone dates that incorporate that assumption are falling weekly.  We had a rare Saturday session to try to get everyone’s perspective on the crucial tasks and issues, and set up new timelines.  The problems are heightened because we budgeted according to the original timelines, and now the money is gone with work still to be done.

In my Business Development role, I’m concerned that outside partners will start to doubt a) the product maturity, b) the program reliability, and c) the people’s competence.  It’s a delicate wire to walk: everything is under control but it’s going to take a wee bit longer than expected.

altPassing through the UK, I advised the Border Agent that I would only be in the country for two days.  And where are you staying?”  In my home, I smiled, pointing to my residence permit. You’re confusing the computer, she observed, poking at her keys.  If you keep coming and going, you’ll get tagged as a visitor and they will cancel your residence permit.  I always point it out as I come and go.  Not enough: you have to say you are staying 30 days even if you aren’t.  You’re advising me to lie to a Border Agent? I smiled sweetly.  No, only to the computer.

I think we’re all coming to depend too much on our machines.

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