One day into the new role

So a minute after I’m tossed into the ClearCase mix here’s what happens: We are opening a channel to our partners in the company’s headquarters to work on the server. ClearCase being what it is, it looked like a small task but grew into a large one.

Most of the chages were done by TesCom, our implementation company. During this implementation, they uncovered a problem that had to be solved in Holland, in the European Rational support, since it uncovered a remotely faced problem. Although that’s not important for the story, it represents another bump on the ClearCase highway.

So last Sunday, our IT manager thought this would be completed by Tuesday, when the implementor would be on site. He then communicated this our GM, which in turn communicated to her boss in headquarters. Note that this would end a few months discussion, so everybody would breath easier when it was completed. We also had some reputation to uphold, having ClearCase on site for 3 years.

However, the implementor was not on-site Tuesday. So the IT manager went to work, with his limited knowledge, and tested all he could on a test server. Tuesday evening testing was completed, and Wednesday we’d have lift off.

I’m thrown into this on Wednesday, by our GM. So I’m starting to get to know the issue. Our IT manager (who is very smart by the way) did a couple of tests on the production environment to see if it actually works. But then he discovers something he missed on Tuesday evening. Lucky for us. But this is Wednesday evening, and we currently know that we can’t launch today.

[Note: The IT manager actually discovered the problem, which was the wrong order of scripts. Chalk up 1 for us, 0 for the implementation firm]

Thursday morning, the implementor is in, and she confirms the discovery. It takes until the evening, since we have a few “unforeseeable” ClearCase problems, but the two of them complete the mission.

[Note 2: As you can see from the story, I wasn’t really a player here, just a supervisor]

So what did we learn?

  1. We haven’t done much testing by ourselves, and in hindsight, we were not actually able to complete it all by ourselves, to the level we expected. Actually, we couldn’t really define the test suite we need to run there. On Thursday we relied on the implementor’s skills and experience.
  2. We failed with our implementors once again. I know anyone can replace a couple of lines, but it’s another small failure in the line.
  3. This would be listed as another capability we don’t have on site. We are limiting ourselves with the in-house knowledge, and we’ll have to rely on contractors to do similar things.
  4. I really missed the action of producing something, even when I’m not part of it.

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