Monday, November 5, 2012

An Inauspicious Start

Well, it has not been an auspicious start to the day. My work laptop struggled through a series of installs and reboots, locking up twice and forcing me to cold start it. That ate up a solid hour of time.

Then, I turned my attention to three urgent data requests that originated from legal. Then, into a status meeting that got totally co-opted for another subject. Followed by direction for the immediate turn around of some test related material.

That pretty much ate up the morning, meaning I got zero time to work on the projects assigned directly too me.

I took a hard hit on a favorite stress trigger of mine. Let's see if I can accurately describe it. The trigger gets hit when I am assigned a project, or a portion of a project, and after going through the discovery phase I start working on it.

Then, I get asked or tasked on something that is "part of the project" that I had never heard of and it is revealed that it was included in the project as a result of a meeting I didn't attend, or a conversation I was not part of, or an email exchange that did not include me.

That instantly slams into my fairness stress trigger. I think that it is unfair to hold a person accountable for an action or a task without first making that person aware that they are on the hook for it.

Fortunately, a walk and a simple high protein lunch have helped to pull that stress level back down from it's peak. It in a few moments I will head back to the office and dive back into the fray. I just keep reminding myself that all projects, good or bad, end.

Later That Evening...

Well, I was able to get some productivity out of the day - granted most of it came during the evening when I was working at home.  The afternoon was mostly consumed in a pair of meetings about UAT (User Acceptance Testing) and some follow on conversations.  The UAT meeting was scheduled for an hour, but extended well beyond that.

They have appointed a test director, and a good one at that.  I definitely don't envy him.  He echoed what I have said in that, during the course of a career, this project is a once in a lifetime event, it is so chaotic and so scattered.  It actually heartened me to hear someone else say that.

At one point during the afternoon meeting I was pointing out the difficulty of the task (the math simply does not add up).  The UAT cycle is pretty much a pure mathematical fantasy.  I may have to write an entire post on that, since it is a perfect object lesson on what not to do during UAT. 

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