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This is Hooovahh


@crossrulz wrote:

@Hooovahh wrote:

Every task from upper management


I pretty much knew where this was going as soon as I read this.  I have too many stories about a former direct manager and his boss.  Let's just say that if the upper manager had an idea for test, we should go in the opposite direction.


I don't have higher management, but some customers have similar tendencies.

 

At one company where I was outsourced for a year or two, whenever someone came to  ask for something, anything, the standard response was that we needed it on paper. You'd never hear from them again.

Message 301 of 310
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I've started asking for a "requirements document".  I even argued with a Manufacturing Engineer about a clause in a proposed requirement that gave them power to accept or reject my software.  I insisted that MEs aren't my customer so they can't hold my project hostage.  I didn't hear back.

Jim
You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. ~ Alice
For he does not know what will happen; So who can tell him when it will occur? Eccl. 8:7

Message 302 of 310
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wiebe@CARYA wrote:


At one company where I was outsourced for a year or two, whenever someone came to  ask for something, anything, the standard response was that we needed it on paper. You'd never hear from them again.


Oh yeah that's another good one.  Another one you reminded me of is there'll be times when I have discussions about what the solution they want, and how it should work.  I'll ask questions, have meetings, and send emails back and forth giving them an update on the progress and how it will work.

 

Once deployed I've had them complain that it doesn't work the way they want.  I then usually bring up the fact that development has gone this way for a long time and they didn't mention that earlier.  The other point I'll usually make is that they didn't ask for it to work the way they now want, and I'll ask for the requirements document that says it should work that way.  This is meant to highlight the fact that there never was any document.

 

I delivered a system internally where the program manager wasn't happy with how it worked after being deployed and kept sending emails saying the process needed to be changed to work differently.  He was so short-sighted that he didn't realize that it would break all kinds of other things, and what they were asking for wasn't possible.  I kept asking for a meeting to get clarification but he denied my request, yet still kept asking for it to be changed in the impossible way.  We were in an unrelated meeting when he came over and was like "Listen, I just need the software to work like this..." and as he was describing it I cut him off "I don't need you to give me a one sentence description of what you want, I need a meeting with you to talk about this and explore our options."  There was no meeting, they kept kicking the can down the road on this "temporary" solution for a year until another supplier delivered something else they didn't want.  As a result I have this hanging in the office.

 

uq5hb79ofaj31.png

Message 303 of 310
(630 Views)

Qr:We have a unique problem

 

Me: howso?

 

Qr: well, nobody has ever provided a proven solution to this problem 

 

Me: so, what you are asking for is a novel solution?

 

Qr: No , we want a solution that has a history of solving this new problem. 

 

OK

 

 


"Should be" isn't "Is" -Jay
Message 304 of 310
(516 Views)

@JÞB wrote:

Qr:We have a unique problem

 

Me: howso?

 

Qr: well, nobody has ever provided a proven solution to this problem 

 

Me: so, what you are asking for is a novel solution?

 

Qr: No , we want a solution that has a history of solving this new problem. 

 

OK

 

 


Qr: Also, how long will it take to do something that's never been done before?

 

Me: ???

 

Qr: I don't need engineers that can't provide estimates.

 

Me: (later, after long analysis at my desk) Here's my plan; it could take eight weeks.  If everything goes our way, I estimate six weeks.

 

Qr: We plan for success, not failure.  Six weeks is the target.

 

Me: Fine, as long as nothing pulls me away from this project and I can work on it full-time.

 

Qr: No.  You still have to support the production lines.  If you get pulled away from this project you can work nights & weekends to catch up.  I don't need engineers that can't keep their promises.

 

Me: ...

Jim
You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. ~ Alice
For he does not know what will happen; So who can tell him when it will occur? Eccl. 8:7

Message 305 of 310
(475 Views)

@jcarmody wrote:

@JÞB wrote:

Qr:We have a unique problem

 

Me: howso?

 

Qr: well, nobody has ever provided a proven solution to this problem 

 

Me: so, what you are asking for is a novel solution?

 

Qr: No , we want a solution that has a history of solving this new problem. 

 

OK

 

 


Qr: Also, how long will it take to do something that's never been done before?

 

Me: ???

 

Qr: I don't need engineers that can't provide estimates.

 

Me: (later, after long analysis at my desk) Here's my plan; it could take eight weeks.  If everything goes our way, I estimate six weeks.

 

Qr: We plan for success, not failure.  Six weeks is the target.

 

Me: Fine, as long as nothing pulls me away from this project and I can work on it full-time.

 

Qr: No.  You still have to support the production lines.  If you get pulled away from this project you can work nights & weekends to catch up.  I don't need engineers that can't keep their promises.

 

Me: ...


One of my professors taught us to always double your estimates.  I learned quickly at my first engineering position to double it again (4x now) because management would almost guaranteed to cut my estimate in half.  This saved my rear end more than once.


GCentral
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Message 306 of 310
(469 Views)

I'm involved in a project to establish a manufacturing cell in another state, but not to simply duplicate the one we have (because it's horrible).  Instead we're making it the way we'd like to see it implemented here.  It's incredible (to me) how many hours they're including in the estimates.  I've never been involved in something this large and it's comforting to see people add weeks to estimates.

Jim
You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. ~ Alice
For he does not know what will happen; So who can tell him when it will occur? Eccl. 8:7

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Message 307 of 310
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I had one of those recently.  The production line was having issues that they were able to work through, but it was hurting the rate that they could run at.  So they had a meeting where they asked me to estimate the time needed for the fix, not knowing what the real problem was yet.  They were running 2 or sometimes 3 shifts 6 or 7 days a week, and there wasn't any offline system to debug with.  So I knew that no matter what my answer was they wouldn't be able to accept it.  I think I said it would take 4 days to figure out the issue and fix it, not fully knowing what the problem was.  Management was livid and wouldn't accept that this would mean production would be down for 4 days to fix this.  I replied.  "What answer could I have given that would make you happy?  The line being down for 1 minutes is too much for you right now."  They just kept kicking the can down the road constantly complaining that it was a major issue and needed to be fixed.  I'd say:

 

"So shutdown the line and let me work."

"Oh we can't do that."

"Well then this must not be that big of a problem."

"It is a major problem and needs to be fixed right now!"

"Oh that sounds serious, when can I shutdown the line?"

"No we can't shutdown the line."

"Oh then this must not be that big of a problem."

 

After this they said they never wanted to work with us again, and made several unprofessional comments.  This week they came to us with a request to replace one of their very large automated test systems.  I advised my boss to not accept the work.

Message 308 of 310
(455 Views)

@crossrulz wrote:

@jcarmody wrote:

@JÞB wrote:

Qr:We have a unique problem

 

Me: howso?

 

Qr: well, nobody has ever provided a proven solution to this problem 

 

Me: so, what you are asking for is a novel solution?

 

Qr: No , we want a solution that has a history of solving this new problem. 

 

OK

 

 


Qr: Also, how long will it take to do something that's never been done before?

 

Me: ???

 

Qr: I don't need engineers that can't provide estimates.

 

Me: (later, after long analysis at my desk) Here's my plan; it could take eight weeks.  If everything goes our way, I estimate six weeks.

 

Qr: We plan for success, not failure.  Six weeks is the target.

 

Me: Fine, as long as nothing pulls me away from this project and I can work on it full-time.

 

Qr: No.  You still have to support the production lines.  If you get pulled away from this project you can work nights & weekends to catch up.  I don't need engineers that can't keep their promises.

 

Me: ...


One of my professors taught us to always double your estimates.  I learned quickly at my first engineering position to double it again (4x now) because management would almost guaranteed to cut my estimate in half.  This saved my rear end more than once.


PI.  Engineering estimates for time are multiplied by PI by good sales personnel. 


"Should be" isn't "Is" -Jay
Message 309 of 310
(454 Views)

@crossrulz wrote:

@jcarmody wrote:

@JÞB wrote:

Qr:We have a unique problem

 

Me: howso?

 

Qr: well, nobody has ever provided a proven solution to this problem 

 

Me: so, what you are asking for is a novel solution?

 

Qr: No , we want a solution that has a history of solving this new problem. 

 

OK

 

 


Qr: Also, how long will it take to do something that's never been done before?

 

Me: ???

 

Qr: I don't need engineers that can't provide estimates.

 

Me: (later, after long analysis at my desk) Here's my plan; it could take eight weeks.  If everything goes our way, I estimate six weeks.

 

Qr: We plan for success, not failure.  Six weeks is the target.

 

Me: Fine, as long as nothing pulls me away from this project and I can work on it full-time.

 

Qr: No.  You still have to support the production lines.  If you get pulled away from this project you can work nights & weekends to catch up.  I don't need engineers that can't keep their promises.

 

Me: ...


One of my professors taught us to always double your estimates.  I learned quickly at my first engineering position to double it again (4x now) because management would almost guaranteed to cut my estimate in half.  This saved my rear end more than once.


ATM (past 5 years) I'm lucky with a customer's software lead that doubles my estimates (while I charge per hour)..

 

It's rare.

 

I can only say that it pays off, if only in my attitude towards the project. And also for the sustainable relation we've build.

 

It's really hard to stay motivated when your estimate is cut. It's probably the stupidest thing a manager can do to engineers. Even if the original estimate was 2X the realistic time needed, they'll make sure they spend it all. Either to prove the manager wrong, or because they where right in the first place. And you'll never know...

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Message 310 of 310
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