19 June 2009

Truth in Advertising

The story (somewhat edited to protect innocent parties) goes like this:

We realized about two weeks ago that we were heading toward an absolute train wreck. We did not have adequate staffing to support our converted customer base and had about 10x that number of customers to support in just about six weeks.

With the training cycle being five weeks, we scrambled to develop a contingency plan. Our options were severely constrained by call routing, training space and trainer resources as well as the need to continue supporting the non-converted customers. Nevertheless, a (about 85%) good plan was developed. The scramble then began to determine how to support this brainchild.

The plan was to pull additional resources (~75) into training in two locations. The first location would train about 45 of the resources in a room that was ready to go and sitting idle. The remainder would be trained in an idle training room, but PCs would need to be installed. After a couple of phone calls and calling in my last favor from IT, they agreed to make it happen.

At 3p on Friday, before the room was to go live on Monday, I received the dreaded phone call. There was a problem with the power draw that the PCs required. So bad, in fact, that they could power no more than 12 out of 30 at a time. We would need an alternate plan. It doesn't take an experienced project manager to know that 3p on Friday is NEVER the right time to deliver a bombshell. Scramble begins.

45 minutes later, I receive another in a long string of phone calls. This one telling me that facilities would "make it work" and would do so by Monday Morning at 8a when training was scheduled to begin. I asked that I receive a phone call when it was done just to be safe, and was told that it was safe to assume that silence was indeed golden, and I would receive a call only if it wasn't going to be ready for 8a Monday. I know that I should have not agreed to that, but at 4p on Friday, I'll take it.

Crises averted. Right?

Sunday I sent three texts to two different people to confirm. Silence.

Monday, at 715a, resent the text from Sunday. Two replies. Both said exactly the same thing: "Yes, you are ready."

Monday, at 930a, I get an IM asking why the room wasn't ready until 915a.

Four days later, that question remains unanswered.

The morale of my tale is simple: "Just tell the truth."

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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