More work, so if you're not interested, move along.
Yesterday's long meeting - 10 hours on the phone, watching slides - was fascinating from a group dynamics and a business/process perspective. There was a lot of storming and norming, not much performing. Most issues were put into the parking lot for later vetting and resolution. We began again a few hours ago.
All that storming and norming sometimes throws things into confusion. Speakers in the room begin to think they're talking to the people in the room. "Speak up," telephone callers request. "Can you move closer to the phone? And there's a fan or something by the fan that's causing a buzzing." People on the phone try to speak; those in the room don't hear them so the people on the phone keep waiting for breaks to say, "Excuse me, I have a point. Excuse me?" Sometimes bedlam erupts on the phone as several conversations begin in the room. I figure we're probably getting about 60 percent of the spoken words between all the issues. We don't get any of the non-verbals, such as people nodding their heads.
The projection is continuing migration and integration efforts. It's huge - product management, supply chain, engineering, manufacturing, sales, order processing, sales operations and fulfillments, shipping, entitlement, support and RMAs, with all the little niche issues involved, such as DOA machines (Dead On Arrival) and evaluations. Regulatory issues complicate matters. We're trying to engage on a global level but we don't use the same systems throughout the world.
Worse are clashing paradigms. Software and hardware are separate worlds. We engage both worlds. There are no international, global systems that allow us to engage both worlds. Therefore, they must be created, or the systems must be bridged or modified.
Lots of it is tedious. People go off subject. I change positions to keep my blood moving, glad that I'm not in the room, sitting in one chair, than another, walking around, or doing light exercises. Sometimes I get on my knees for a change.
My personal environment doesn't help. Cars, trucks and motorcycles roar by outside. The cats visit, puzzled by all this talking. My phone batteries die, requiring me to pick up a spare. Once I was asked a question and the phone died as I turned off the mute to answer.
The team represents all sides but there's a huge acronym gap. Sometimes a sentence seems like it's all acronyms. Regional and country accents add another degree of difficulty as presenters from Texas, Alabama, Brazil, India, China, the Netherlands, and England brief us on systems and processes. Knowledge gaps emerge. How are orders processed for hardware, software, and our products? Who are the owners? Each system has a separate IT process for changing it - or does it? Some products will be end of life by the time the project goes live, some will still be sold and supported, some will be in renewal and supported. Each must be considered.
Most of this doesn't involve my function. I'm not quite sure why I'm here. Maybe they're looking for a role for me. I resolved all of these issues for my area a few years ago. I just listen now to ensure nothing impacts my arena.
Above all the discussions are the standard storm clouds that threaten all projects: money, time, people.
It'll be a long summer into winter.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com