if it is like other shops where i watched the conversion, it goes like this:
1) high-management decides the PC applications look cool so they decide to go to .net or
an SQL Server as suggested by the vendor selling the hardware and operating system.
2) because there are no applications specific to your business model, they will suggest to
you to that maybe you need to provide better education and/or invigorate your ability by
attracting younger, more knowledgeable programmers just out of college….after all, you
know how things should work and under your tuteledge the newbies will perform just as
well as your old staff under your LEADERSHIP.
3) after many frustrating months of firing up the hardware, the network will finally be up and
running and now all you need to do is put the new software on. no, it does not come pre
installed unless you spend a lot more money.
a) of course you can always get the server in and begin installing the software while
you spend countless hours and dollars having the new CAT V cable installed and
all of the little hiccups that go with that process.
4) somewhere about six months into the project you will have advertisements out there
looking for new programmers who know the .net and SQL servers…especially since
half or more of your staff have bailed for other jobs because the schedule did not
allow all of the wonderful training that you promised them during the initial install.
5) about eight months into the project, you are behind because the vendor is not able to
provide specific issue solutions to the project afterall, and their contract is such that
if you need more help, you have to pay beucoup bucks for it, or hire outside contractors
to meet your needs.
a) at this point, one or more of the managers from other departments begin their
snickering and someone suggests that perhaps a manager from another dept
could be put over the project as Project Manager, so you can devote your time to
the technical aspect of the project.
b) your remaining seasoned staff is starting to bail at a greater frequency.
c) the maintenance contracts for the new hardware/software platform start rolling in.
d) VP and above want to know specifics as to how you intend to handle this issue
e) you know they wont listen to you and your spouse is upset because you are now
spending 10-12 hours at work a day, not 8-9.
6) about 12 months into this, you are burned out, there is a layer of dust forming on the
light switch in your office because you dont use the thing, since you are in your office
nearly 24 hours a day 4-5 days per week, plus weekends.
a) management is now questioning your ability to manage a department
b) all of your staff has been replaced by “skippies”…the pimply faced just out of
college kids that know all the new languages and platforms but can’t program
their way out of a wet paper sack, because they learned from books only with little
or no experience behind them
c) you begin sending your resume’ out, hoping to find a slower paced mom and pop
operation that has an as/400 iSeries platform.
7) 14 months into the project you are swamped with calls for programmers, but none for
managers. at this point you start feeling low, the skippies know the project would be
more successful if a dinosaur was not running things.
8) 16 months into the project you decide to take a programmer job, becuase it does pay
well and the stress associated with it will be less.
9) 18 months into the project, you have bailed (finally) and the shop is running two types
of hardware and paying maintenance on barely used software. you get the blame in
board meetings for the failure of the project.
10) the board decides to use the old system, it did work afterall and was tailored to the
specifics of the company.
a) the server and PCs are used elsewhere.
b) the company drops the new platform and pats itself on the back for saving so
c) one of the skippies are placed in the role of IT manager at the age of 14, or so it
d) new development stops for a while, but the machine does keep up and running
11) you second guess yourself for the rest of your life and hate the fact that you failed when
in fact it is the bump on the log VP (or above) who failed because he/she saw some
pretty itty-bitty applications at a trade show, one of their buddies told them that is what
“we do at our shop” and they felt left out and started this whole vicious cycle.
a) they know they failed the company with this pipe-dream software but they also
know that the blame will rest with you since you are the IT director/manager
b) they vindicate their own failure by making it a triumph by revealing your weakness
and inability to adapt
12) in a couple of years, another up and coming VP will go to a trade show, see something
dont understand but know it looks cool.
a) they come up with a plan to modernize the IT department
b) and the whole vicious cycle begins again because nobody aknowledges the
last attempt to modernize the IT department.
yes this sound apocalyptic but it was meant to. i am one of those contractors who come in and set up systems when someone gets the wild hare mentality and start running around the office crying “it’s late, it’s late!!”