We've been waiting for it. The bus tipper. I'm thinking of the thing that comes along and gets it's hooks sunk good and deep into the undercarriage of the bus and then locks at the elbows and just stands up.
The bus tipper. The bus tipper is a thing called Deloitte and another thing called MDG (doesn't really matter, don't pick at it) and a down the road aways a thing called 1SAP which is the joyful (read: mutherfucking terrifying) concept of the single ERP (again, don't pick at it).
Fine. You picked.
- MDG - Master Data Governance (I told you not to pick)
- 1SAP - One SAP (more?) Well now I'm going to throw HANA and Teradata at you. Still want more? Stick with SAP. I had to look it up. Systems, Applications, and Products. This is bad like when people used to tell me they used Hyperion. Oh yeah? Hyperion, what, exactly? Financial Reporting software? Budgeting? Accounting (god help you)? Web services? OLAP? Sound of trumpets... Essbase? Nope. Just Hyperion. Hyperion is not a product. It's a company. Later Oracle ate it like a Scooby snack and it became a brand. Now, eleven years later it lives within (sort of) the framework of another acronym and only the cult of Hyperion professional and die hard users and administrators recognize it for what it is. SAP. Yep. SAP. Not a fan but that isn't SAP's fault. ERP. See, there's another one. I told you not to pick at it. I can't tell you, I'd have to kill you because it would make you crazy. How about I just tell you that part of the ERP brings in all of the transactional information of one of the top 50 Fortune 100. Many companies have many ERPs. There are a lot of reasons for this, mostly having to do with acquisitions (which is how these damn behemoths get so big) but also because different lines of business buy different ERPs because they have different needs. Eventually a very big company wants to get itself down to two or three at most because the collection and translation of all that detail into a summary Management and SEC reporting system is a nightmare. Imagine all those mapping tables. Gak.
- ERP - crap. I already did that one. It's stuffed up there inside of 1SAP.
- Deloitte - Deloitte, not just for audits anymore.
We knew this was coming. Mike and I knew this was coming. From the moment they walked in the door we smelled trouble. Wolves wearing the gutted carcasses of the most recent sheep tied trophy like around their necks, thumping against backsides as they cut a path to my door.
Why my door?
My door happened to be whatever small conference room I'd managed to book for the day to get the hell out of the open space chaos.
Why my door?
Because somebody told them they weren't getting anywhere near Mike but they might have a snowball's chance in hell with me.
They promised me resources.
You're lying, I said.
Why would we lie?
All consultants lie.
Later Mike lost his mind and I took the team away. We locked ourselves in a room with Fluffy and got to work with the hose, a couple gallons of kerosene, and a very long handled scrub brush. We took turns with the brush. By the time Mike figured out where we were hiding, Fluffy was clean and dry, on a diet of Fat Boy kibble and the design doc was most of the way done.
And then Max had a headache that wouldn't go away which turned into vertigo which sent him to urgent care which sent him to his internist which sent him home which sent him back which sent him for an MRI which showed his internist water on the brain and Max went home to contemplate his options and the team sat back and stared at each other across the miles from Texas to Florida to New Jersey in a tidy American triangle. Boston just fell off the map and India was sitting on its collective hands without him.
Fluffy started to growl under the table. Griffin kicked him in the chin.
Sometime in the night Max's wife took him to the ER and by the time we found out about it Max was already in surgery and the prognosis was 20% survival probability, 5% he might land on his feet with an intact and fully functioning brain.
Fluffy got up and shit on the floor. Erika broke 24 of the 26 bones in her right foot. Fluffy is still coughing up blood.
That was Friday. Today is Tuesday. On Monday morning Max was on the phone and he was tired but he was far more Max then he'd been in weeks. It's hard to tell when someone deteriorates slowly that it's getting bad, especially when you can't see them. Today Max started his day at 8 AM with the team from India. He was ramping them up as fast as he could to break the sound barrier when it got time to do his part of Fluffy's awfulness. His part is estimated conservatively at 392 hours. That's 49 work days assuming an 8 hour work day assuming NOT A DAMN THING GOES WRONG. OK, I put in a 20% contingency rate on top of that but that's SOP on an LOE (please, just don't). It's not SOP on an LOE when it's FLUFFY. Also, 49 days is too many days. That's not counting weekends. Max is what we call the long pole in the tent which is followed by 15 days of SIT (should have been 30) followed by 30 days of UAT before we go to production.
All of this being part of a much bigger project...
for which we receive our twice weekly beatings.
We turned the corner without Max on Friday. The team moved forward two entire development weeks at a full out sprint and were feeling better then they had collectively since the departmental divide. There was joy in Mudville yesterday. There was joy in Mudville this morning. I just didn't have the heart.
Mike. You have to tell them.
The call was scheduled for 2 PM. It should have been over at 3. At 3:30 I left my cell phone on speaker, got up and walked into the kitchen. I started unloading the dishwasher. At 4 PM I excused myself. It was pretty clear Mike was multi-tasking but at least he was still listening, which was good.
I need Fluffy in the ground by 9 tomorrow morning. At 9 tomorrow morning we take an abrupt right turn and build something else from the ground up.
They have until exactly 8:45 AM to let go of this, the beloved Fluffy. Harmless now, ain't he?