05 Mar 2004 @ 9:36 PM 

I’m frustrated at my coworkers and their near complete inability to feel a sense of urgency about anything they do. We have customers. The customers want us to produce this software. According to the company I work for, the only metric used to measure our usefulness is the quality of each individual piece of software we deliver. I think the customer has two metrics: quality of each piece, and total number of pieces delivered. To pretend that how fast you work is unimportant is disingenuous at best, and delusional at worst. Let me tell a little story…

The CM course wants a boatload of new sessions delivered in time to use for the class starting Wednesday. I’ve produced a bunch of it, but it has to be reviewed by more senior people before I can release it to the CM folks (initials used to be deliberately obtuse). So, I mention to one of the reviewers that there are 85 sessions in the review queue and not one of the five reviewers is working on them. I also point out that we have told the CM course that we’ll update them on Monday with the specific location of each of their sessions in our development cycle.

Blank stare.

I take the time to lay out the obvious: some of this material has been available for review since the 24th of February, yet the customer (remember them?) can’t see it yet because none of the reviewers can be bothered to look at it. They only have to look at it, not do anything difficult.

Back to the concept of productivity being unrelated to number of sessions produced, I’m the number one developer. It’s not even close. If I add up the next three people in total number of sessions created, they need 16 more sessions to catch up to my individual total. I have 37% of the sessions of the entire office (150+ of 420). This would not be a remarkable number if I were part of a four-man team. Instead, I am part of a team numbering at least fifteen. So, if I were a good worker, I’d expect to have 10% of the total. 15% is exceptional. 37% is absurd. And I’m not producing junk, either. I’m making the sessions that are unique and different and hard to make. I’m making the time-consuming ones, the easy ones, the difficult-to-conceive ones. I’m knocking out 30 sessions in a single day, at times. On a bad day, I may only get halfway through one session. If I take more than 3 days on a piece of work, I feel like I’m shamming. My coworkers average 2 weeks per session, and many of them take a month to produce what I make in a day.

Besides being the best producer of courseware in the company, I am also the data management specialist. That means I’m in charge of the majority of the paperwork, database work and directory management to ensure that all of the “normal” developers find what they expect when they start a new session and put the sessions online for the customers (remember them?). This job takes up a significant amount of my time. Somehow, I still have time to meet with the CM representative about thrice weekly, create a buttload of sessions, and read Salon at work.

At the staff meeting today, I listened to one of the CM folks praise the work we were doing for them, especially “George” and his sessions. “George” (not remotely his real name) has made a half-dozen sessions for the CM guys. I, on the other hand, am a constant presence in the CM realm, while producing 80% of their course for them (76 sessions so far) while teaching their government folks how to do their jobs as well. I don’t rate even an attaboy, much less the thousand-dollar bonus I’d expect if this was at my previous employer. This is the same staff meeting where the project lead said we have about 450 sessions in the backlog; we have 281 exactly. That’s not even close.

FMITGA

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Mar 2004 @ 09:36 PM

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