Feeds

BOFH: Shove your project managementry up your mailbox!

An anecdotely informationing for anyone sick of IT's jargoneering

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Episode 7

"So it's agreed then. You'll codify the project and I'll reach out to the developers for the SDK that you need?" the latest IT project manager asks.

"By 'codify' you mean I'll write the program and by 'reach out' you mean email?" I respond.

"Yes."

"Why not just say email?"

"I... because I might phone them."

"So why not say phone?"

"Because I don't know which would work at this stage, so I..."

"Or contact them," the PFY adds.

"Contact is a good word," I nod.

I bloody hate the new wave of project managers we're seeing these days. You know, the ones who can't do anything, don't know anything, but try and cover it up by making a voicemail upgrade project sound as mission critical as faked moon landings. Then there's the Emperor's new verbs and the verbifying of nouns that make it all sound like we're talking space age stuff. I think they may even be paid by the word.

"I don't think it's by the word as such," the PFY says later when I mention this to him. "I think they're paid by the proportion of their words to yours."

"So if I say 10 words?"

"They'd have to say 15. Or 20. Or - let's be honest - 50."

"Yaaasssss," I concur, the shadowy mists of modern-day project management parting in front of me. "You know there was a time when a project manager was a bit like the captain of the Titanic, and if the project looked like it was going down the crapper they'd just grab a couple of rolls of four-ply and dive into the hole.

"These days though, they tend to be a little more like the captain of the Costa Concordia - not too aware of the size of the crapper they're heading towards until it's too late - but still having enough of an instinct of self-preservation to make sure they step off before the brown stuff arrives."

"They want to meet me later to 'touch base on some tangential deliverables'," the PFY adds.

"Yes, the boss said he thought this voicemail system upgrade would be a good time to make everyone change their voicemail passwords," I answer.

"He doesn't know that the old system is completely incompatible with the new one and that a mandatory password change was going to happen anyway?"

"I think we're the only two who know that," I say. "Wouldn't it be tragic if the email server warning everyone of the PIN reset were to disappear down a lift shaft overnight, and the voicemail server defensively locked itself out of the network after receiving 10,000 wrong passwords in under an hour the following morning?"

"I do love a budget system!" the PFY says.

"Yes, we can thank the project managers for that security recommendation too. The whole thing cost a couple of grand - but with the PM fees and the cost of getting the voice prompts translated into English the bill should be no less than 20k - twice the price of the one we proposed."

"And his one is open source," the PFY says, echoing the Boss's main reason for going with the PM crowd.

"When's the next meeting?" I ask.

"Meetings, I think you'll find. We've got 'pre-implementation phase planning' 2 till 3, 'contingent implementation timelining' 3 till 4, and 'post implementation evaluation procedural steps' 4 till 5."

Gasp!

...2pm...

"So by looking at this cross complimentary overview matrix we can see that the implementation thread management shows a major task concurrency at these three points which will require retasking of the experience support personnel to offload the feedback burden," the head PM blathers.

"So what you're saying is that when we make the change we'll both be too busy to take user enquiries?" I ask.

"Yes, but the divisional compatibility matrix we showed you earlier identifies that the project lacks the key skill matrix requirements to assume that role, so we'd need to task that to a specialised services resource provider."

I look over and see the Boss is just eating this crap up.

"You're going to get contractors in to answer the phone and tell people that voicemail will be back in a few hours?" I gasp. "In the middle of the night, when no one's going to be calling about their voicemail anyway?!"

"We're being paid to manage this process from start to completion with no negative outcome events."

"Okay, I have a counter proposal for you. How about my assistant and I streamline the Project Management process by strategically engaging some recreational projectile modifiers amongst the current Project Management resource?"

"I think he's talking about hitting us with a bat of some sort," the lead PM murmurs to the Boss.

"..then implement an incentive-based contract revision process in a building resource free of distraction," I add.

"…torturing us in a basement," he translated.

"and round off the project by getting my assistant to reenergise the unusable resources at a non- strategic site resource," I conclude.

"..and then burn our bodies on some wasteland."

"Or you could just fork off now and we'll implement the server we were going to in the first place."

"I don't think..." the Boss starts.

"Now where did all this cricket gear come from?" the PFY asks, pulling a large bag out from under the desk.

And just like that, the project is back on track!

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.