|SUMit Roster Software > Nut's Weekly > September 2000 > Drum||Nederlands · Search...|
|Monday, 25 September 2000||July 2000 August 2000 Style Layers Rigid October 2000 November 2000|
The steam stops to emerge from my ears.
There is no more water.
Past couple of weeks were quite hectic. For several months I was able to enjoy summer, had a Guinness or two in Ireland, wrote a database design course, relaxed, spent a lot of time in the hammock, and played around with CSS. Pretty relaxed.
But my life of luxury is over and out, since 6 September. Next half year is going to be busy, and the first month just passed the first half.
I thought I'd seen it all. With my 16 years IT experience I sometimes feel like a veteran between all these "youngsters". Seen all, done all, that's what I thought. Well, the French youngsters of my current customer proved me wrong. They work at a paste that I only know from Malaysia.
Past couple of weeks were so hectic as my team members and me were on the critical path. Every hour of delay in our module meant an hour delay for the entire project.
Such a limiting factor is called "the drum" in Goldratt's Theory Of Constraints (www.smt.com.au/theconcept.htm), as it determines the paste for the other processes. A good ERP system maximises the through put by using the drum to it's maximum. It's all well known theory for me, but it's the first time that I'm a drum myself.
|Minimise breaks, maximise production time||No more off-duty evenings and weekends. These are a luxury only known in more quiet times. Time consuming activities like shopping, cooking, laundry and ironing seize to exist. I out source everything, even buy new shirts when my wardrobe runs out of fresh ones. It's the same story for my team members.|
|Make sure the drum never stops due to lack of work. Crate a buffer of input.||A shared document has a continuously updated to-do list. All team members continuously make additions with new assignments for each other. My short term memory is a notebook with scribbles, and countless post-it sticky pads.|
|Maximize the drums performance with the best staff.||The team has 3 members, each with his own expertise.
It's a human 3 tier architecture.
It's a weird experience for me.
Everything, everything is of secondary importance, and cooperates to maximise the drum.
The drum approach is extreme, but it works. The first module is almost finished. The rest of the bunch is no longer waiting for us. It's the end of the drum, back to 'normal' IT work weeks.
We celebrate the success with a lunch on the 'Plein', a square in the Hague city centre. The sun shines on the pavement. I order an ice tea, to refill my water stock. I doze a bit, absent minded and miss most of the party.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, my Tai Chi lessons will resume, a kind of slow motion karate. I wonder whether I'll be able to do the exercises slow enough. My Chineese teacher will take over the drum role.
· October 2000
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