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Archive for the ‘Limericks’ Category

A performance review tragedy in five limericks

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The yearly performance review
is something we all must go through.
So you may well know
the story below
…it may’ve  even happened to you.

The boss, a hawk not a dove,
dictated the goals from above.
He said, “You will do
as I tell you to,
and that should be more than enough.”

The year whizzed by like a race.
(Isn’t that always the case?)
Soon it was time
for that moment sublime,
when performance would be appraised.

And as the review progressed,
the minion suffered much stress,
because it was clear
he’d be marked a failure
even though he’d given his best.

In the end he said, “OK, that’s fine,
but we were never aligned.
I know you don’t care
but it just ain’t fair
that these were your goals, not mine.

Written by K

April 12, 2013 at 4:52 am

A data warehousing tragedy in five limericks

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It started with a presentation,
a proforma  regurgitation:
a tired old story,
of a repository
for all data in an organization.

The business was duly seduced
by promises of costs reduced.
But the data warehouse,
so glibly espoused,
was not so simply produced.

For the team was soon in distress,
‘cos the data landscape was a mess:
data duplication,
dodgy information
in databases and files countless.

And politics had them bogged down;
in circles they went round  and round.
Logic paralysed,
totally traumatised,
in a sea of data they drowned.

In the light of the following morn,
the truth upon them did dawn.
An enterprise data store
is IT lore
as elusive as the unicorn.

Written by K

December 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

A consulting tragedy in five limericks

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The consultant said, “be assured,
my motives are totally pure.
I guarantee
my inflated fee
is well worth my ‘best practice’ cure.”

Although it was too much to pay,
this argument carried the day:
consultants hired
can always be fired
and assigned much of the blame.

After the contract was signed,
only then did the client find
the solution bought
would definitely not
help leave their troubles behind.

Cos’ the truth was plain to see,
the ‘best practice’ methodology
had only led
to the overhead
of a ponderous bureacracy.

The shock, the horror, the pain-
all that money and effort in vain,
but the tragedy
is the powers that be
would do it all over again.

Written by K

September 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm

A project manager’s dilemma in five limericks

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It is so very hard to cope
with such a platitudinous scope;
vague and unclear,
I’ll tell you right here,
of making it we have no hope.

The goal so very elastic,
based on claims fantastic.
Slick presentations,
and proclamations
couched in language bombastic.

I’ve deployed many dark arts.
Simulations and Gantt Charts.
All to no avail,
my project will fail.
I may as well be throwing darts.

My project, like shifting sand,
is starting to get out of hand.
Despite all attempts
it still makes no sense.
I really think it should be canned.

This truth spinning round in my head
is better left unsaid.
If I were to try it,
they’d only deny it
and give me the sack instead.

Written by K

July 28, 2012 at 11:58 am

A cliche-ridden corporate crisis in five limericks

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In times of crisis, some managers tend to lapse into cliche-speak. So it’s no surprise that things go from bad to verse…

Market churn has set us adrift.
What we need is a paradigm shift.
Get our ducks in a row,
push the envelope,
to keep us from going o’er the cliff.

The boss says, “Let’s touch base.
Make game-plans for the next phase.
We’ll have meetings and talks.
Think outside the box,
to ensure we’re still in the race.”

But the elephant in the room
refuses to sing to our tune,
or dance to our beat,
sing from the same sheet
– even once in a blue moon.

Chin up! We’re still in the ring.
The fat lady hasn’t started to sing.
It ain’t over, they say,
’til it’s over, so hey,
let’s see what the new day will bring.

In the end, we stake our claim
to fifteen seconds of fame.
All said and done,
we’ve hit a home run
in the dying minutes of the game.

Incidentally, portions of this piece have been reproduced as an epigram in Chapter 1 of my book, The Heretic’s Guide to Best Practices. Quite appropriately, that chapter is entitled, Platitudes: empty words that make a lot of noise

Written by K

August 10, 2008 at 10:41 am

SOA what? A clarification for CIOs in five limericks.

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CIOs struggling to keep a lid
on expenses not budgeted,
should have no fear
for help is here –
through designs, service-oriented.

A consulting giant claims
cost cuts and many more gains
will come one’s way
when SOA
unshackles technology’s chains.

The Next Revolution in Productivity.”
Hype’s alive and well – so we see.
But implementing software
that’s not business aware
will cause much pain and grief.

The slick salespersons who sell
SOA software won’t tell
the truth, it’s tragic
that it ain’t no magic,
but a true integration hell.

So, don’t be sold snake-oil.
For you will be in for much toil.
With nothing to show
for all your spent dough,
but an organisation in turmoil.

Written by K

July 20, 2008 at 5:53 pm

A cynic’s introduction to project management artefacts in five limericks

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Project managers as a rule,
will construct a project schedule
on a wing and a prayer,
and estimates from thin air,
creating a timeline untrue.

The well-regarded Gantt chart
is little more than a work of art.
For it only masks
that most project tasks
never begin when intended to start.

A project management tool
can spice up a dodgy schedule
with critical paths,
simulations and charts.
Accuracy? Who cares – it looks cool.

Progress reports for sponsor reviews
should be vetted for only good news.
No one wants to hear
of impending failure,
or how things are going down the tubes.

Organisations have discerned
that documenting lessons learned
is a complete waste,
’cause they’re rarely based
on events that really occurred.

Other posts in my “five limericks” series are:

An IT system tragedy in five limericks.
A project procrastinator’s tale in five limericks.
A corporate IT tragedy in five limericks
A manager’s response to a corporate IT tragedy in five limericks
A project management tragedy in five limericks

Written by K

June 19, 2008 at 9:47 pm

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