Not too long ago I managed a project that had serious problems and delays caused by the guy who was supposed to be building the web-based interface for people all over the world to provide content and a database for the content. I gave very clear requirement specifications including data models, got delayed for months waiting for a simple web form for people to use to contribute, ended up juggling 50+ spreadsheets from different people in order to get content at all, had to COPYEDIT in spreadsheets (which does not work when you can’t see the fucking content), and then had to go and manually edit every single field multiple times over after his solution to import content into the database fucked it all up. It still doesn’t match the specifications, but we got minimal viable product out just on time and spent months after cleaning up. Nearly a year after the thing went live, we got a web form for contributions. Still nothing matches the requirements, and because of that there’s continual ongoing manual work.

Today I had a meeting on a project where I’m providing content to the specifications of the project head, who’s already selling the product. We’ve been waiting for literally months to get the supposedly available “admin access” to the thing to input content. We’ve written a great deal of the content according to the requirements of the person selling the product, submitted most of it already, and then got a “we need to talk about the content let’s have a meeting”, which meeting got postponed by the developer. Content is in a spreadsheet of course, because that was the simplest option we had in absence of the abilities we’d be told we’d have.

The developer sent a new “template” spreadsheet for content this morning ten minutes before the postponed meeting that he “built” to make it easier for him to import content into the tool we were told we’d have admin access to months ago. Guess what? The fields specified in the template have nothing to do with for the content we wrote, or the requirements of the project! (And it doesn’t meet the needs of the project as described.)

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We do not have the time to re-work to deal with changes to requirements after we’ve already completed 90% of our deliverable.

Also, a newly published book I’ve a chapter in just arrived. Yay! They misidentified my affiliation despite my very clear corrections before publication. Boo!