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Asking the Impossible

I could have a blog just for the kind of crap we have to deal with at work. (Hmm, there’s an idea). Anyway, today’s head-hitting-a-brick-wall incident revolves around a simple web form. For those who do not know what one of these is, its a page on a website that allows someone to enter data into the blanks, choose items from a menu and click a submit button and voila, you get information sent to an eMail box. You get all the information you require, makes life good for the user – they actually feel like they have done something, its good sense.

So I followed procedure. Send a request and wait and see.

Procedures are great aren’t they. They make it seem like an organisation is organised. We have procedures for everything, its what I spend my life creating. So I knew at the moment the request was sent that it wouldn’t be simple. Not necessarily the creation of the form – this could be done in half a day, and probably have bells+whistles built in, with a fancy tune, and coloured lights. Its not the technical side that’s the problem, it is the procedure. And then making the decision whether or not to add it.
I have to justify it, explain it to those who makes the decisions, then justify the explanations. Then you have to find a way of motivating those who are making the decisions to actually make the decision, and also convince them it is a good life because it makes everyone’s life easier. Except for those who are making the decision because they have to pay for the time of the developer to create this form. This assumes that those making the decision actually understand what it is you are trying to do, and whether or not to make a decision now or defer the decision to some other time when you’d have to remind everyone again what it is they have to decide. (If you are lost its the people who are making the decision whether or not to make the life of a user easier, i.e. add the simple form).

Once a decision has been made to add it – lets assume they have – then you have to decide who will own it. By owning it, it means who will pay for it. This is a whole set of decision making in itself, and not one that I want to elaborate on. So the moral of the story is this, don’t bother.

“Making waves only upsets the ducks” is our motto, apathy is something that is nurtured and developed to a high degree. It is something we excel in.

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Categories: Journal
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