RE: Pray for me

Subject: RE: Pray for me
From: "Bayne, Sonia E B246" <Sonia -dot- Bayne -at- CIGNA -dot- COM>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 18:26:28 -0400

Beleaguered techwhirler Kat's problem:
<snip> I have a new assignment: "Do a context-sensitive HTMLHelp system for
Product X [an automated medical device used in hospital operating rooms].
The 400-page user manual needs to be in HTML, too. We need a working
prototype of both, complete enough to satisfy the FDA, for the next product
build on Thursday afternoon." </snip>

Much good advice has already been posted. It seems that your best approach
is to help whoever assigned this Herculean task to understand the
magnititude of what they have asked, probably by roughly estimating the
workhours required to do the job properly. Then throw together another
estimate (all you have time for) that would provide barebones prototypes
(and which will likely still end some time after Thursday). And as Jeanne
suggested, don't just complain; instead, offer what _can_ be done by
Thursday afternoon. (I can have xyz ready for us to demo to the FDA). FDA
undoubtedly doesn't want useless help and a manual that is unreadable.
People's lives could be at stake here!

Simply throwing more bodies/consultants at the task isn't always the answer.
In this context, I'm reminded of a favorite saying of a developer I used to
work with (provenance unknown)... "Nine women pregnant for one month cannot
deliver a full-term baby."

Best of luck with this, Kat. When you come up for air, let us know what
happened!

Sonia Bayne
sonia -dot- bayne -at- cigna -dot- com
In this world, it rains on the Just and on the Unjust...but the Unjust have
the Just's umbrella.

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