Deflating now

D-day was approaching.  For months we had been working on processes, designs, tests and trainings.  Dutch consultants had come in, Polish & Romanian & French consultants had come in,  time passed and the issue list remained long.

D-day approached and I came home later and later.  Jan packed his suitcases .  1,5 years in advance I knew already I would miss out on the club diving trip but I'd be too busy working anyway to realise it.

Camping out in the big attic with the entire team monitoring the progress of about 100 inventory lists coming in and getting validated , boxes checked in green done  or red delay, laughter over the questions the external auditors had been asking during their inventory checks, stress over a list of materials created in the news system with the wrong valuation category that need to get corrected before anything can get loaded, many queries in the old systems, consolidation & merger lists. Giggles when the director goes out for Chinese food to feed the masses and he gets to suggestion to go and buy some cutlery in the next-door supermarket first. A special-before-the-end-of-the-month financial closing, gather lists and uploads and consolidations of the figures before and after. Unexpected problems and frights causing minor hart attacks.  Managers that take pictures of us working during the big weekend.  Interfaces don't kick in when we expected them to do so, escalations ; phone calls and reviewed planning. A big splendid buffet to keep us going.  Status updates of what is happening in the other plants, we're all in this together. A news bulletin on the radio reminds us that the world is turning outside of this project go-live without us and that in fact most other people are enjoying a long weekend.  It sounds unreal.  Waiting for a predecessor to end and killing the time in social talk and silly laughter from fatigue. Oh help I can't stop laughing and it isn't even funny at all. Damn the supply of Coke is running low and no I couldn't possibly eat more chips or desserts right now.  It's strange to see some of the colleagues so casually dressed. Ah great a technician in Poland is checking that non-responsive interface right now, hopefully that'll be alive soon.   Aaaargh, if those project managers wouldn't phone every 5 minutes to check the status, maybe we could actually make some progress.  Yes we'll test that in a minute.  Oh damn, clearly not all master data is fine yet, where are those guys sitting in the building, they must fix this list right away! Pffff the rest will have to wait for tomorrow, we won't get this done anymore tonight, I'm going to go and get some sleep filled with database tables dreams now. Fortunately there's no traffic jams at night.

Aaah look the open transactions have been loaded, look look, how exciting to see our familiar data in the system!   Super! Ok what do we have to do now?  Have you heard that manager had missed the time change for winter time and was an hour early at the worker's briefing this morning....totally hilarious!  Some HR colleagues are visiting with their kids to see how we're all doing and to give us some support. No no, those who are "stand-by" today won't need to come in, we'll make it on schedule we think. Oh did they start entering our first orders now?  How's that going?  Give me a call when we are going to run that interface for the first time, I want to monitor it! Gosh I'm so tired, I hope I don't make any mistakes on this list.  It's going to be a long day if we continue at this speed.  It was supposed to be fixed an hour ago but they don't seem to get anywhere with it , so I'm waiting again. A quick glance on my ignored feedreader tells me it has grown huge over the last week but there's no way I can torture my overloaded brain with more computer texts now.  Maybe I can go to a happy cheer for the accountants and tell them how well they're doing and then help checking a sales list.  We all look like zombies, this must be a Halloween party. We wink supportingly to each other in the hallway and ask how we're doing.  But we're almost at the end of the weekend and most things are nicely checked off.

We've switched the core software of 3 breweries , 4 big logistic depots and many satellite locations & subcontractors  from sales, logistics, production and accounting over the weekend.  It's been a roller-coaster of emotions, stress and successive problems and challenges but also an incredible time of bonding and cheering over achievements. Yeah I "lost" my long weekend and had to stay home from a diving vacation and have not eaten home in 6 days but projects like this are beautiful to do......once every 4-5 years or so ;).


Kat Mortensen said…
Oh, such a shame you missed the diving trip!

Thanks for working so hard to ensure that the rest of the world gets your wonderful beer, Goofball.

zusjesenzo said…
De opluchting zal wel enorm zijn. Amai zeg, zoiets houd je toch alleen vol met de nodige dosis adrenaline hè...
Jenn said…
Wow, it sounds so intense, but such an accomplishment too.

It's nice when a job is satisfying.


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