Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Have you seen the movie Sideways?  It sometimes reminds me of the IT world where everything seems OK and then something goes so sideways that you wonder if you are in the right profession.
4 years ago, my previous company was hired to develop a Contracts Management System (CMS) for an Energy Utility company based in Western Canada.  The Energy Utility was going through the process of fitting into a recently deregulated industry.  Anyone that has been through this understands the extreme chaos involved.  Here was a Utility company whose customer base, for over 20 years as a public utility, was in the few hundreds servicing small to medium commercial businesses and now had to scale to hundreds of thousands for the retail market, hence the need for software automation.
The amount of business change served up so fast was a painful experience for many.  Most business processes had to be reengineered (read: discovered), every software application either had to be replaced or retooled, or a net new packaged or custom developed application was put into place to handle deregulated business processes.  With respect to CMS, the workflow for processing contracts was incredibly complex and recursive based on the deregulation rules.  We used