Thursday, December 08, 2005

Operation Clean Sh*t II

Just got back from work! Ya, at this hour of the day. For the last two weeks, actually it feels like one months already, this has been a routine. Wake up in noon, head of to customer site. Most of the time, pick up one or two of my team from their place on the way there. Slaving ourselves till the wee hours of the morning, then head back home, beaten.

The User Acceptence Test (UAT) will be conducted, in just 4 hours from now. The risk of oversleep and missed the UAT session if I were to take a short nap is too high. Crossed my finger for this UAT. I had just discovered and fixed one bug in one of the modules just before we wrapped up just now. I believe there are still some lurking underneath. I can't blame them, this is a very rush job. This kind of thing are bound to happened.

Half of the team members has been relieved of this project, back to office with the normal routine and working hours. Another half sailed through this with me, and a couple of my team office team has been pulled into this project after we had decided to take over the other two modules.

This two modules was badly written, and the codes are extremely messy. There are so many flaws in the design. I don't think the previous developer put in any effort to at least give some thought on the design the codes. The presentation layers and the business logic are scattered all over the place. This is a real living hell for our team.

I feel bad that I have to asked them to work on this project, it is really rediculous. Yet, this is a strategic decision that has been made by my boss, and I have agreed with a condition that my team with be rewarded for their hardwork.

Half way through, I have to ask my boss to pull our service manager in to manage the project. I have to concentrate fully on the development and bug fixing, and another reason is I have no experience in managing customer expectation. What more in a situation like this. I hate to drag him into this, but that his is our best bet in this managing Doraemon.


DongKie's PM shown me an e-mail from the Doraemon PM to me this morning. The Doraemon PM stated that she want only a single point of contact, from today on. lol. I knew what brought that about. The previous night, the network suddenly developed a problem. I had to call her to get the network fixed or otherwise it will hamper our work and negatively affected our delivery date. After a few calls, she still can't seems to be able to help us solve the problem. In the end, she just send me an sms to let me know there is nothing she can do, we have to wait till the next morning when the person in charge of the network is back to work.

One reason I keep calling her is because this problem will hamper our work, and secondly is to let her feels what's it like to be in a position we are in right now. The two meetings with their highlevel management that I attended with my boss, all I heard from them was DongKie (and we now representing DongKie) doesn't give enough commitment and doesn't have the sense of urgency to deliver this project on time.

So there's it goes, is this the kind of commitment you are looking for? We have shown our commitment, and being unable to solve the network problem over at your side will not reflect positively on yourself, ain't it? That where single point of contact come from isn't it?

Our service manager told me the Doraemon PM has soften a lot since we took over the management of this project from DongKie PM. It's not just about deliver the project. This is just like a game. You wanna play hardball, we can play hardball too *grin*. Calling her in the middle of the night to complaint about the network problem was part of our gameplan.

From my observation, DongKie PM just have no clue on how to manage the Doraemon. Yet at the same time the Doraemon PM, maybe unconciously, just taking advantage of this fact to let the project slipped into disarray and put all the blame on the DongKie. That's the reason I had roped in our service manager, who has vast experience in project management, to handle this project. Particularly to manage the Doraemon expectation.

So far this seems to work pretty well.


Again I am glad and very lucky to have such a dedicated team members. Being in their position before, I did my best not to repeat the kind of mistake that some I observed being made by other team leader.

I make sure I am the first to arrive at the site and the last to leave. Got my hand dirty at debugging and coding. Make sure their meal are well taken care of. One of the member is getting married this X'mas, only last week I knew about it. I feel very bad to make her work in this kind of condition few weeks before her important day.

There are plenty preparation needed to be done, and what more she will have to take care of her "face". Working within this kind of environment is not good for your skin and complexion I figure. Anyway, I asked have let her take two days off from today and tomorrow and no work for her this weekend too.

As much as trying to avoid any blunder, I did fucked up. I reprimind one of the team member for her lack of clue in carry out certain task. She wasn't happy with that and told me I shouldn't expect too much in this kind of situation. Maybe she was right.

Yet at the same time, I just can't help feeling frustrated when I was debugging the code written by them. There are just too many silly mistake in their codes, and if they were to put in some effort during the good days to study and learn how to write codes properly they should be able to do better, even in a high stressed project like this. *make mental note to raise this issue with them, albeit more deplomatic and subtle when the condition is right*

Maybe I am too demanding, and expect too much. Maybe not...