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1997-07-09 00:00:00


So, You Think It's Easy? A Case Study



Larry Towner is one of the best-informed experts on y2k. His compilation of articles on y2k is posted on Texas Tech University's site. Here, he describes the problems facing a real-world project team. Anyone who thinks it's easy to repair a y2k system should consider this document.

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From: Date: Mon, 7 Jul 1997 06:14:32 -0700 Subject: Re: Human Resources: Project Management

The Y2k project that I manage has grown increasingly complex over the past six months. This project has a staff of 50 programmers, ranging from very junior to quite senior. The project administration has grown from just myself to an assistant project manager and an administrative assistant, in addition to clerical support. Five team leaders have grown to 10 plus some specialized consultants.

Our project encompasses the full scope of Y2k for the customer, including embedded systems, external interfaces, and vendor/supplier Y2k readiness.

The project plan is maintained on Microsoft Project. . . . The master plan has more than 275 discrete tasks with nearly 20 sub-project plans covering major task groups. The narrative portion of the plan exceeds 400 pages. We utilize nearly a dozen reports, both standard and custom, from Project to track the project's activities.

In addition to making the project go, the rapid expansion of the project team has led to other 'challenges' in physical space, equipment, orientation, and training.

Of particular concern is the pioneering aspect. Folks who claim that Y2k is just like the system conversions of the past have got a real rude awakening coming. Analyzing and deciding how to approach the upgrades, which date approach to use, how to streamline the process with minimum risk, identifying the testing environment, and scheduling the interface associations with myrid other applications and users makes this unlike any other project most of us have ever seen.

Bottom line: The Y2k project is a beast to manage. I've got over 30 years of IS management experience and this is still a monster that keeps the stress level peaked. I'm being pretty well paid but there are times (like the weekends I work instead of play) when I wonder if it's worth it, particularly when it is obvious that it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Usual disclaimers apply.

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To access Larry Towner's bibliography, click the link.


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