Apr 152012
 

Friday afternoon, my team and I hit on what we thought was a serious data issue that might have had a big impact on our sales team. The data coming into one end of a business process didn’t seem to be coming out the other as we expected. It turned out that we were mistaken about what we were looking at – it actually took us a few hours to figure out why the data seemed so anomalous. We had mis-diagnosed the situation, and without sober practices for working through [read more...]

Feb 262012
 

Some of you know I am the CIO of a company that went into and out of chapter 11 restructuring in 53 days, completing with the sale of our company to a stalking horse private equity firm. I started with the company about seven weeks before our chapter 11 filing. What all of that means (for the sake of this story) is: My first four weeks were heavily influenced by taking out costs and conserving cash The next three weeks involved “discovery” and other processes leading to bankruptcy We spent 53 days [read more...]

Feb 082012
 
Padding estimates and promises

A few days ago, we uncovered an opportunity that depended a lot on timing. If we could get it going in five days, we could exploit it… if it took longer than that, the timing was going to impact some other strategic concerns. I asked a developer for an estimate of the effort, and he said it would take ten days to complete. About my own estimates I have always been sensitive to suggest my own estimates to other developers. My estimates nearly always scared others, but I had a [read more...]