Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HPT Implementation: taking care of your resources...

As planning projects are getting larger and more complicated it's more important than ever to have the right resources. One key to getting the right resources is to provide 4 day workweeks and avoid at all possible the working on weekends. I haven't been on a project yet where working a weekend straight through will result in a successful project. There is usually so much input required from the customer that having consultants working crazy hours without end users to validate the system is just wasted money. In every case that I have witnessed, the need for this type of work schedule was due to changing requirements from the customer that were somehow missed (either the right questions were not asked during creation of the design document or the customer had new ideas after the system was already designed).

If you're with a consulting firm and this is not a #1 initiative for your consultants then your consultants will be leaving very soon. Your competitors are offering this if you fail to. If you're the final customer your pain will be even greater because it is very difficult getting hyperion resources hired.

Let's say you get phase 1 of your project complete and you're ramping up for phase 2 only to realize that all of your resources (employees, contractors, etc) have all decided not to follow you into battle. Think how much talent the customer just lost by having all the developers walk out the door? Was it really worth hitting that deadline to lose your entire technical team? I was at a customer where 3 employees quit within a week after being fed up with working xmas, new years, and endless weekends. The real pain point that that these employees were there for the duration of the 3 year project only to leave right after go live of phase 1. The best part of that project was that the 3 project sponsors, who didn't work any weekends and who were responsible for changing scope got big promotions for hitting their live dates while some of the employees on the team didn't have jobs after the project was over.

I've been present at a client when the "style" was to use profanity at my team. Profanity in and of itself has never really bothered me but it's a little different when it's directed directly at you with the words "this is unacceptable. You're all going to be bleeping fired." It's a little dishearting to hear these words on week 2 of a 5 month project. How motivated do you think we were to go over and above? How much extra stuff do you think snuck into the scope without a change order request?