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The Unholy Chicken Release Management, as demanded by Cleo the Release Chicken

Well, I'm getting cabin fever and short-timer's ADD all at the same time. I haven't been anywhere outside of my greater city area in FOREVER and I'm only days away from my vacation. I have brainlock because the last few days have been non-stop diffusing amazingly hostile conversations.

I think I'll write about that.

So then, I "do" software. At the end of the day, software is pretty straightforward. Software is that thing we love and try to make do things not currently in play, in existence. If a process around getting software to do something is broken (like most actually are), then we should acknowledge it and move on. We are professional. We are helpful beyond the normal call of duty. We live and breathe making the lives better for those apps being active in the world. But above all--the shocker: We are SERVICE.

In a service frame of mind, all perspectives shift to what is best overall for system stabilization vs. what must be in production to meet business objectives. It doesn't matter how much you like or dislike the creator of said software. It doesn't matter what time you went to bed last night or if your mate appreciates your Death March attitude. Getting a product in and when is an age-old dilemma in a software environment where more than, say, 3 people are involved. We know this.

Taking a servant's perspective eliminates the drama surrounding what a group of half-baked developers forgot to tell each other in the 11th hour about their trampling changes before check-in. We, my counterparts in society, get paid to deal with that drama. I get paid to diffuse that drama and make everything integrate as smoothly as possible. At the end of the day, attacking someone over a minor detail not only makes things worse, it's against the whole point of our real existence. Being in support or software integration means you are to keep your eyes on the end game. That end game? It's making a solution work for all stakeholders, not just you or your immediate superior. Development and technology groups exist because business groups need them to exist and solve their issues. The end game? Doing what is best for those business groups ultimately. Period.

Note: That does not mean you let your business users solely dictate when and if something gets changed in an environment you ultimately own. That's just crazy. Software and its environments are legitimately owned by those who manage it directly, no matter how important a business group believes it is to the existence of mankind. So, you both negotiate the terms of changing that environment and only do so upon that negotiation. Diplomacy is in order.

So, to finish my thoughts: If you have no ability to keep your mouth shut in a situation where a business or development group truly need your help to make something work even beyond a deadline, find another profession. Beating up someone verbally because they screw up means a service attitude is not at the forefront of your motivation for doing what is ultimately their work and their product. Software, especially integration, requires a strong will and a soft touch to keep it on track. Not a hammer covered in broken glass.

Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 4:00 PM | Back to top


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