Eight to Late

Sensemaking and Analytics for Organizations

Archive for the ‘Verse’ Category

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 corporate outsourcer’s spiel in five stanzas

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Note: Despite references to this sorry saga, the author affirms that this is a work of fiction.

Good morning, Mr. CEO Sir,
we offer services complete.
We’ll take care of your computers,
and fudge your balance sheet.

We’ll overstate your revenue,
and inflate profits
Thus boosting your share value
in global stock markets.

We’ll find you well-known auditors
to sign off your accounts.
A thumbs-up from their managers
will put to rest all doubts.

Soon you’ll get rewards for sure,
despite such malfeasance.
Trophies and awards galore
for corporate governance.

I trust our varied expertise
gives you confidence.
We’ll take good care of your IT
…and your finances.

Written by K

January 21, 2009 at 9:43 pm

A scope management farce in five limericks

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It began as some projects do,
with users who hadn’t a clue.
Their requirements
made no sense,
filling merely a page or two.

The PM,  he knew the score.
He asked the users for more.
They flatly declined
saying “We have no time,”
and booted him out the door.

The PM, now filled with dread,
went to the sponsor and said,
“We cannot proceed.”
The boss disagreed,
commanding him to press ahead.

The team, though flying blind,
worked hard (no time to unwind).
Built an app to the spec,
but the users said, “Heck,
this ain’t what we had in mind.”

The moral is clear to see:
With specs unclear or murky,
you’d do well to try
using techniques agile,
delivering frequently.

Some recent posts in my “five limericks” series are:

A cliche-ridden corporate crisis in five limericks
SOA what? A clarification for CIOs in five limericks
A cynic’s introduction to project management artefacts in five limericks
An IT system tragedy in five limericks

Written by K

October 17, 2008 at 7:41 pm

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

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