Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The moment when you know it is a disaster . . .

Today I had one of those moments, when you realize management made a decision, and it is going to be a disaster. My department has been working on software for our 2012 (next years) application release. As part of that, we decided that now was the time to shift to Java 1.6 and require it for the 2012 release. Our company holds the hands of our clients, providing a single point to purchase both our application and the hardware to run it on, along with supplying them updates of IBM's AIX operating system. We added Java 1.6 to the AIX updates 2 years ago, and with this years application release, were going to require that the client either be on the first release with Java 1.6 or acquire an 'unlock' from us to install the application update. The plan was we were going to track the clients requiring the unlock, so our support group would know which clients to push to update their system before next years application release, when it will be required to run the application. Well today, in a "Internal Release" document (that had 3 factual errors, and was in the client's hands within 30 minutes) it was stated that we will not be requiring the unlock after all. I found out today that this decision was made 2 weeks ago, when the head of support stated that it was going to "cost too much overhead" to implement the unlock process. My director was in the room, but neither myself, nor the head of the System development team were. Both of us are the major stake holders in rolling out Java 1.6, and neither of us were informed of the decision to scrap the unlock process. After I got done pulling the 2 week old knife out of my back (thats is why it has been hurting) I realized that we are now invariable headed for a disaster. Our projects are running full speed ahead, requiring Java 1.6 to be available on all client systems. I have this dread that we are going to get to March or April of next year and support will be, "sorry, we can't roll out the AIX update to all of the clients in time because it will require too much work." At that point, I am going to be asked to (again) pull the company's bacon out of the fire. At this point, I don't know what I am going to do, but it is going to be interesting.


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