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Thursday, April 01, 2004
The One with The Evil SledgeHammer 

For starters, what you need to know is that my company is currently developing an application, kind-of huge too. But as for me, a 2 years working-experience analyst programmer, such application need not be that huge, rather the functionalities should be. Nonetheless, to get straight to the point, the application was initially developed by the Indians. The application was marketed in S'pore, but the company went bankrupt due to bad management (management ok, not application..yeah rite?!!!). So it was said and told that is.

When the application reached my company, the Indian contractors had to come along with it. So now, we have 2 teams working on the project. The outsiders and US. Two teams working to modify the application, as required by the customer.

It was difficult to work as ONE team. The outsiders wanted to be in and kept us out. We wanted to be in, and had to struggle our way in (blocked by the outsiders of course). There's always another something blocking our way.

It's been one year, and OUR application has not been ours. We haven't even reach to the core of the application, let alone consider it to be ours. The outsiders have us by our neck. It has dawned to us, that we can never get rid of these outsiders.

Should we keep on fighting? Even when we were entrusted with a tiny modification, somehow when the work is done, we either had to redo it again (missing our datelines...) or it got lost...

Strange but true..

So what's the next strategy? How can we own this application? The outsiders still have our balls within their reach. We are tied to them. How can we untie things? How do we prove to our customer that this application is ours?

The application is going LIVE (in stages, per module) starting this May. So, after going live, there's still some modules needed for enhancement. It would probably end entirely end of this year.

So what's the next strategy?

After doing some thinking, I came to a conclusion. We definitely had to separate (The boss wanted us to become one happy 'family'). But I think, after one year, it would be best that we were to separate. Separate team. Separate environment. Separate development.

In order to prove that we can own this application, I suggested that we play the outsider's game now.

The outsiders have always thought that we simply cannot do anything with the application. So instead of trying to tell/prove to them, let's play dumb. But in the background, we have to start digging and get to the core of the application.

Next was the development side. There's 2 ways to do so:
1. Make enhancement to one of the components
2. Develop new module

#1 option
We can easily do this. Nonetheless, once it is done, how do we convince our customer to use our component? They might be accustom to the old one already. They wouldn't want to change things.

#2 option
We will definitely get new modules after going live. I suggested that we are to be entrusted to do at least one module. It has to be our ownership, without any interference, particularly the outsiders. Indeed, we would need a longer dateline, but it would definitely convince the customer that we are worthwhile (if everything goes weel). It would also convince everyone else that the outsiders are the outsiders. (for this option, it is either we go up, or totally down flat on our face)

I am more opt for the #2. More objective will be reached. Nonetheless, it is very confrontational, aka evil. Which my boss would say "SledgeHammer" way. And I am now listed as the 'evil' staff.

So, what if it happens to you? Two groups? One is keeping the key, the other looking for the key in the bushes. How evil can we be? What about work ethics? How can we achieve our goal? Should we just be the Mr Nice Guy?

As for me, no more MR NICE...

We will play your game. But we will make sure you lose at the end of the game.


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