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…]

Dec 282011
 
IT - coming on tour in a city near you

For the better part of twenty years, I observed business processes with an eye toward defining, streamlining and sometimes automating them. Now that I am no longer on the consulting side of the table, I get to share greater ownership of our business processes with the other members of our management team. At the same time, I notice a stark difference between engaging clients from the outside in a process improvement effort and being part of a team that has to work politically together to make those improvements happen. I also [read more…]