RE: The last minute crunch -Summary

Subject: RE: The last minute crunch -Summary
From: Samuel Choy <schoy -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 15:17:29 -0500

As usually, Techwr-l has not let me down. Thanks to everyone who replied
on-line and off-line. The quotes at the end of this post provide an example
of the different types of advice I received. But I'm going to summarize
what I got out of them:
* You need to be more proactive about getting involved in the process
earlier in the cycle. If you were, you would know about the changes the
developers want to make earlier.

*Say no when you don't have the time because, there should be a change
control process that the developers do not seem to be using where the docs
are concerned.

* Stick to your content-freeze date.

*The last minute crunch is part of the business we are in. Nothing goes
right at the end.

Although I feel like the last point is the most realistic, I do really like
John's idea about being proactive. One might ask why my developers didn't
include me more during the development cycle. Why wasn't I notified of some
changes? It's been my experience that I'm not invited to a meeting because
the one who does the inviting doesn't know I want or need to be there.
Usually I don't have any trouble getting invited to a meeting or getting on
a distribution list if I ask. My developers are very talented people, but
they just can't seem to read minds, yet : )

As far as processes and saying no goes, I guess I prefer to interact with
my coworkers (developers included) more on the basis of respect and
relationships rather than on rules and processes. Notice I said "prefer"
and "more," not always. Rules and processes are very important, but they
don't get things done (for me) like good office relationships. Perhaps I
should have mentioned that there is a lot of give and take between me and
my developers. I know they have reviewed my stuff at times that were very
inconvenient for them. But given that, I am going to make sure that my
developers are aware of my deadlines and be more strict about our processes
and schedules.

OK. Now I've got to get some work done.

My favorite quotes from this thread:

John Posada:
The elements you described below are not the reason...they are the symptoms
of not being involved earlier in the cycles.

You should be asking yourself...WHY are so many things coming to you at the
end? Why don't you know earlier?

Chuck Martin:

Do you have the power--and the backing of your manager--to say "No, I can't
fit that into the schedule." when some of these "little" requests come

Is there such a process there (I can hardly beleive
that there's not; "IBM" and "process" are synonyms), and if so, are the
developers going around that process, either because they think the issue
so small or they believe that docs aren't part of the development process?

Kate Robinson:
I have two words for you: content freeze

Kelly Bennet
this job at different companies for about 15 years...for a variety of
companies (e.g., Canon and UPS) and did a lot of marketing stuff before
that... and with both jobs, NOTHING EVER GOES RIGHT AT THE END...

Samuel Choy
IBM Rochester

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