Saturday, December 10, 2005

Operation Clean $h*t III

Been drifted in and out conciousness most part of the day today. It's has been one of the longest two weeks in my life. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Planned to get back to work briefly today, yet fatigue won over me (or this it just an convenient excuse.)

There are still a few more problem to be fixed with the system. After what we have done throught this two whole months weeks, we are now in a better position, and can afford to take a few good breath of fresh air. I have send almost all of the team member off to a good rest, asked them to take a day off on Thusday.

Only me and the our Service Manager (who I have drag into this :P) were back at the customer site while they carried out the User Acceptance Test. Unfortunately they discover a bug with the printing routine that is supposed to be one of their requirement. We have overlooked on that problem. I had to call one of the team member to come back to fix the issue on Friday morning, yet he offered to come back on Thursday evening itself.

So despite of lacking of sleep on that day, our Service Manager and me stayed back to accompany this guy to fix the problem. While waiting, we carried out some changes to the text on the User Interfaces from the comments made by the Doraemon's internal users. There were a few hilarious moments through out the process.

The service manager, who has not done any programming for such a long time decided to get his hand dirty to made changes to the codes. Along the way, he managed to fix some of the problem but not without some hilarious moment. I wouldn't blame him. He and me only manage to sleep less than 1 hours in that 36 hours. One funny mistake he made was he copied one of the code into his notebook, and somehow didn't relise he copy the file to another location. He made the changes to the second copy, and applied the first copy into the staging server. He was perplexed why the changes he had made doesn't seems to be reflected in the staging server.

He asked me to help him find out what was wrong. Just when I was to start to go through his code, he himself finally realise the blunder he has made. We laugh our loud.

It really help to take things not too seriously. In fact this is what I think keep everyone of us sane through out this ordeal. In fact, while at the dinner last night, my boss commented to our Directors we were having a fun time despite having an impossible deadline and stressfull environment. He has witness first hand how everyone talked and did silly thing while he accompany us till the wee hours of the morning for at least two days. I guess he don't feel good either to have to made us to take up this project. Despite not being able to do anything, he just sit there accompany us till we decided to call it a day (it a long long days.) On last Sunday night (and monday morning) we accompany us, and I knew he got few calls from his wife but I still want to stay back. I just tell him to go home to accompany his wife. Only after a few time did he willing to go home, albeit with a very heavy heart.

This is the kind of spirit and commitment that I didn't find anywhere in my previous jobs. This is the kind of commitment that allowed us the pushed through this. Yet, as a leader we have to take care of the welfare of our team. I have given many very clear hints to my boss about rewarding this team.

We were invited to a dinner with my boss, couple of directors of the company and some friends of their friend last night. I wasn't to keen to go. I would rather come back to have a good sleep. But the service manager is in the fit of his alcohol withdrawal and hoping to get to satisfy his alcohol need asked me to go with him. I relanted.

Anyway during the drinking session after the dinner, we brought up the rewarding thingy with our CTO again. On the spot he did some calculation and has decided to set aside 1/5 of the total sum that we gonna billed to DongKie to reward this team. Equally divided, that is about month on salary for some of the team members. To other it's almost equavalent to almost two months of their monthly salary. This is a very good shot in the arm for our team. At least I will not feel very bad (still some bad though) to mobilise this team tomorrow to fix few more problem before they sign-off the acceptance on this Tuesday. I would love to announce this to our team, but I have to keep it to myself until we get the money from DongKie.

In fact when I sent out a sms to asked a favour from a couple of girls to come back to work tomorrow, she complaint that the people at the beauty parlour commented that her face is terrible when she went for facial earlier today. I told her we will go back by 8:00pm tomorrow, and wanted to tell her with the amount of money we gonna reward them she can afford to go for few more facial sessions. But I can't tell her that. I just told her I will ask my boss to give them some money so that they can go for more facial session.

It wasn't fun to have to keep this kind of information to ourself. Yet there are a certain reason why we need to keep this kind of information, especially some strategic decision which can only be reveal at the right time. Another information that I have to keep from my team is the top management decision to move our office back to HQ earlier next year. I knew most people will not be so happy with this, because the location of our current office is much more convinient. But there are some cost cutting measure that the top management has to take.

Unfortunately this relocation news has been leaked out by one of the manager, which pissed my boss to no end. I am not sure how that happen, yet it's a very irresponsible act. She might have done it with good intention, but leaking that kind of strategic infomation out at the wrong time and without any measure to counteract the negative impact will make matter worse. It's better for our boss to broke this news and give a proper explanation on the rational of this decision. *sigh*

I know I shouldn't be thinking this way, but I can't help to think that she did that on purpose. I might be wrong. Anyway, this is purely my speculation. You see, sometime certain people just can't to grasp the importance and roles that they are suppose to play when they are being assigned to a position. I think she is among the group of people who will not like to relocate to HQ, so intentionally or otherwise this is her idea of how she should handle her personal dislike to this decision. By leaking out this news, she might gain some point from other staffs negative response to make a point with the top management to reconsider their decision. Unwise decision and unfit to hold her current position.

Stop the digression, back to this clean $h*t operation. The Doraemon team has already kick start their migration process on Friday morning. They were having the kick off and planning meeting in the room where I was working. This could only mean one thing. In principle, they are pretty please with what we have done so far to the extend that confident enought to start the plan to the migration of this system into migration next week.

Though there are still some minor problem need to be fixed, they are no longer that harsh with us anymore. In fact they are more compromising and cooporative this few days. This is a good sign to us. This achievement is no small feat. Our team have manage to regain back the confidence from Doraemon within less than two weeks. From the rock bottom position, we pulled through and now they are pretty please and happy with the commitment that we have shown so far. This turn of face is a 180 degree change from their attitude in the meeting with their top management that I attend with my boss last friday. Where they threaten to sue DongKie for screwing up this project and they will consider the while system no fit for deployment if they found more then three problem. After two days of testing, honestly I can say there are infact more than three bugs has been discovered. But all I hear from them is please that your time to fix it. As long as it is fixed before the migration, we are fine.

I owe a lot to my team to this. None of my team read my blog, in fact I wish they will never found this blog. Yet, I want to let everyone of the them know that "You gals and guys RAWKs!!!!"