Monday, March 2, 2009

Job, part 10


Got out of having to attend a meeting today. Last week when my manager was in town (G is in our office about one week a month), he asked me to attend a meeting with him. (He also asked MK to come with us.) Turns out there is a director's level meeting about a product release plan. It is something I would have been invited to regularly attend had it been meeting say, a year or more ago. But that was then. Since much reorganization has occurred since then, albeit slowly, and I have been sidelined from such things, that was the first time I had heard of or attended this particular meeting.

So today was the next scheduled meeting, and when MK told me he was scheduled to attend, I ran to my computer to check, and lo and behold, I had nothing scheduled. That was a relief.

I was not sure why G had asked me to attend that meeting with him last week. I was beginning to suspect he was angling to change my focus again and try to shift me back into a managerial role. But no, that is not to be.

On the one hand, I should not have been moved away from managerial work, but on the other hand I am now happier I am away from it, if only only because I feel freer to move on the further I am from what I had done in the past. The less I am involved with product production, the less attached I feel, and the less attached I feel, the easier it will be to make the break when the time comes.

So, perverse at it sounds, I am beginning to enjoy caring less. Infuriating and depressing as it is at times, at other times I feel a hundred pounds lighter. Like I could float through the day. I delude myself by saying that I am just not taking my daily work personally. I just do what's in front of me and then I go home, festering.

Later this week the CEO will give a quarterly conference call talk about the state of the company. That is pretty normal, but there have been a spate of reorganizational announcements in other departments lately, and following the CEO's talk by about a day there will be a meeting for all of Development. I can only assume that some changes will be announced.

Since I am below (or perhaps better said: I am off) the radar nowadays, I don't feel there is much for me to be concerned about in the short run.

At times, I sometimes do hear of plans or directions before they are announced, owing to my prior position. I cannot be sure what will be announced at the meeting, but I suspect it will be about plans to move some products to maintenance mode, and put the emphasis on a new product currently in development. For better or worse (mostly worse, in my view), this new product that is under development is quite a ways off in terms of release. It has been going through design for some time, and parts and pieces are being developed, but as an overall product is nowhere near ready.

But my guess as to what will be announced is simply that, a guess. It could be some things completely different. I'll know by the end of the week.

I'm expecting that the plan will be too aggressive. The fallout will be as follows:
(a) the expectation of some current products to go into outsourced maintenance mode will not go well. We're just about to release a new version of one of these products, and with all the after-release new features desired, and post-release fixes needed, will be such that getting the outsource company up and able to maintain the product(s) will be way too complex and costly than expected.
(b) The currently new product under development will not be able to be released in its scheduled time with the desired features, as it is too ambitious.
(c) so, when revenue falls, the plan to move some existing products to maintenance mode will need to be backtracked upon.

The same thing happened some ten or more year ago in a previous incarnation of this company;
the desired sunsetting of an older product was put on hold (and everyone involved was whipsawed by the alternating decisions) because the new under-development product could not be completed easily--it was during that time that the incident of me questioning the then-company president occurred (see Job, part 3)