Wednesday, July 20, 2005

...part 2 :: kl skyline... second attempt to check out the kl skyline with aaron. and that night turned out to be beautiful night. check out the pictures below...

...a close-up of the connecting bridge and maxis tower...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

...farewell allen...

...we had a farewell lunch with my hod today. we will miss you, allen...

...what is wrong with the entire development process...

...what is wrong with the entire software development lifecycle process in the company? what went wrong? my first initative was to check on the entire project - tms, what went wrong in the project. was the project in a successful mode?

after investigating on the project with the outcome as posted earlier on, now, my next focus is, was there anything wrong at all with the technical side or rather the development process...

i have the privilege talking to my newly elected technical lead in the project, which i strive hard to get the pm to endorse him. we had a wonderful chat over the phone and a face to face chat. so, i ask, is there anything wrong or rather anything that causes distress in the development team? hohoho...indeed there are alot of issues with the programmers. when i heard the stories, i was like, wtf man...and people is always blaming requirements that is the main problem. dohh, sa have our own processes, our own documentation, download session, etc...but, wtf, how about the programming side? the technical side?

things i gathered from this colleague of mine:
1. no technical documentation at all.
2. architects has the final word.
3. coms are given to me and i am supposed to follow. no question asked!
4. i don even understand wtf this com is all about. need time to understand.
5. the com cant even do wht is required.
6. reuse codes - f man. what! i cant even understand the "high" level of this guys coding.
7. f man. these codes have no comments. how to expect us to read and understand.

it seems that programmers need a download session and to be re-trained again on the standards and processes in our company. now, who knows all the things in the programming side. what are we supposed to do. who are we supposed to listen for standards? listen to my experience? do we really have the standards and documentation set? if yes, where are there? are there no enforcement? which is more important - setting standards or enforcement of standards.

the more i look at things in this project, the more i learn how important teamwork is. not only teamwork is important, but the communication within members. yes, "gods" might be right, but how do we challenge "gods" and give them a piece of our mind.


..the day that many things happened... manager just told me that he has thrown his resignation letter yesterday afternoon. oh my gawd, now i know wht he didnt want to go back to the office for meeting. ok, this is how the story goes...

yesterday morning, i was told to arrive in the shah alam office at 730am. which i did. i arrived at 723am. i waited and waited for my pm to go putrajaya for a presentation. he arrived at 8.05am. and that was the day the overhead bridge fell off the sky and the road was jam packed at the shah alam exit to nkve. eventually, we arived late and all the big shots in coat and tie were sitting and waiting for us. haih. nevermind that. then, the stupid notebook doesnt work. dohh. and when we finally got it to work, then the projector kenot support the dohh notebook cos its a wide screen. as thus, all those ppl were looking at me playing with the wires and stuff. double dohh.

anyway, after the presentation, we went back to shah alam and i slept most of the way. when reach shah alam office, then i was told tht the executive director was like so pissed with us, cos we did not attend the meeting in the morning with him. but dohh, this putrajaya thingy was set well ahead of time and we got scolded. but, i found out tht the meeting will be continued at 3. oh shucks! its 2.50pm and i am still in shah alam. so, i rushed back. i told my pm that i am goin back to the office and ask him if he wants to go. he said no. so, we were guessing why ler. so, now i know why. haih!

the meeting was ok. from 3pm till 730pm and gosh, headache..headache...they talked about so many things. so many stuff until my head cant take it anymore. i presented my progress in the meeting and i was like, haih...i am like stepping on my pm and say things behind his back liddat one. dem! feel so guilty.

i also told exec director about my pre post mortem thingy and he said to me that, "if you think the results you can reveal to me, by all means, let me know. if think its confidential, then keep it until u think its time to tell me. no pressure here, but just, if u think u need me to be involved, do tell me" and i was like, shucks...apa boleh buat ler me? did i say the wrong things? or am i to be found guilty of commiting a crime here. dem...i feel so bad.

i wanna learn how to be a good project manager. but where do i start? i read about 60 pages of a project management book. and one thing it says that capture me was, the phrase that project managers SHOULD NOT USE is, "YES, WE CAN DO IT" wakakaz...always analyse the situation. more of like, SEEK TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD thingy first. which is very true lor...

oh well, my pm is gonna leave us, apparently last day should be sept 9!!! and who is taking over the project? wakakaz...

Thursday, July 7, 2005


...yesterday i was compiling the pre-post mortem survey forms collected from my colleagues until 1am. i asked them 3 very simple questions : what went well, what went wrong and how can we improve. and here are my findings.

my pm does not know anything about it. in dillema now, shall i talk to my pm about it, or shall i just go direct to the um. arghhh!!!! stress...stress...stress...

lets analyse this situation : pm is goin to transfer all his knowledge of project management to me and he will teach me everything he knows. he will pass me a book to read on project management. he has been promoting me to the um on what i am doing. he has been the nicest person to everyone. he gives me such high ratings for my performance review. haih...stress...stress...stress...

well, i guess what i can do is look at the what went wrong, and see which item we can improve on and initiate some processes that allows us to complete this project with the 10% success rather than 100% failure. i need some inspiration on how can we go on from here. yeap, aaron dude mentioned about attitude. i need to bring along the attitude which i have left it behind and use it to deal with this issue.

Non Technical related:
Project Planning
1.No proper project planning from the beginning.
2.No proper planning from the start of the project.
3.Poor project management.
4.No clear direction and goal to be achieved from the direct management.
5.Staff not able to see the overall picture of the progress of the project.
6.Minimal project progress meeting for daily updates.

Direct Management
7.Direct management seems not concern about the project which causes others to lose motivation to work.
8.Direct management does not monitor progress properly.
9.Staff realizes that the direct management is not doing the job.

Rumors and discouragement
10.Lots of rumors around.

Appreciation and Gratitude
11.Cannot feel the appreciation from IITC – forfeit leave while rushing for project which causes the lost of motivation.

12.Tight timeline and things not well organized causing wastage of time and resources.

Dynamic Allocation of resources
13.Some issues are still pending but still pull resources to other modules causing those pending things to be dragged.
14.Too frequent of shifting of resources caused confusion to the mind.

Contract Programmers
15.Language gap between contract programmers and module lead causing misunderstanding.
16.Low quality of contract programmers.
17.High turnover rate which causes individual workload to increase but there is no replacement by HR.

Working Environment
18.CIAST environment very bad.
19.CIAST is very far and long traveling distance which discourages people to stay back late to work. Tired if stay back late.
20.Wasting time traveling from CIAST to IITC and back to CIAST for events – breakfast session which causes lost of half day.
21.No teamwork due to lost in communication.

Training Programs
22.No proper training for non experienced programmers.

Technical related :
1.No technical document for all programmers to refer to
2.Tables are not designed earlier but many changes along the way.
3.Development method kept on changing – 2-tier to 3-tier SQL to Oracle which causes duplication of effort.
4.No standard coding method. Different people have different method.
5.Requirement capturing not clear for some of the modules.
6.Common user control should share among all project in IITC (similar to EDUGEN) and not developed during project phase as this will cause changes and code modifying on the existing code which is wasting of time and resources.
7.Development time increased causing other task and milestones to be delayed.
8.Students category has a lot of issues that needs to be resolve – ranging from incorrect business rules and requirement that applies and coding skills.
9.Built incorrect database due to misinterpreting the requirements despite so many downloads session provided.
10.Job scope of technical lead is not clear – should only monitor the technical issue only and not the whole project progress. Technical lead should not involve in development.

anyone can help me out, inspire me...

Wednesday, July 6, 2005 locked but with engine running...

...we came back from lunch today and we notice that our pm's car engine was still running and his car keys were inside, but he was no where to be found. so we thought he might be looking for ways to unlock his car. but, when we went into the office, we saw him happily surfing the net. so, we knew he didnt know about it. we told him that his car engine was still running and the door was locked. he look surprise and came running to check it out. here are some pictures of how we got it open! check it out man...

...beautiful skyline...

::hazy skyline of twin towers and kl tower::
::kl tower::
::without zoom of kl skyline::
::kl hazy skyline::
::twin towers::
::aaron dude, wakakaz::

...yesterday nite i had a great time with aaron on top of mini genting. and we had a great time with the panasonic lumix fz5 camera. talked about many issues of life and how we can improve on many aspects of it. its wonderful to have a fren to share with each other, though i did most of the talking, i must learn to listen more to aaron from now on. aaron has much to share also. next round starbugs on me...

Monday, July 4, 2005

...durian feast @ CIAST...

...what a day. i was in the office this morning to discuss some requirement issue with a colleague. then, after talking with him, i approached another colleague and starting chatting and chatting. and didn realise its getting late. dem...arrive in shah alam at about 11am.

started notebook and begin to work. haih...yet another day of work. but, wtf man, today my manager on mc. many important things to ask him to make decision, but on mc pulak. dem. dem. dem.

my hod gave us lots of durians to eat. wakakakz. so, we all mar take a long tea break to eat durians. the girls start using knife to open durians, all eating happily in the room and polluting the room with the smell. everyone enjoyed themselves, playing with the fruit, drinking salt water, trying out how to open a durian...wakakaz. its a durian feast man! gosh, the room still smells durian. even though we open the doors and fan the room the whole afternoon. wakakakz...

later, i called for a project meeting. for the first time after like so many weeks. dohh...dunno why manager didnt bother to call. maybe he knows everybody's update liao. so, i got a quick update from everyone on what they are doing and stuff. i told them to give me their updates from tomorrow onwards. and note down how many bugs they solved.

after which, i gave them a short motivation talk. haih, not sure how much can put some senses into them ler, but hope i can make a small difference ler. not 100% failure, but 10% success. and tht we want to climb out of this shit...

i throw some of them these question::
what went well and what went wrong. they say they want to write it down and pass to me worr. so, ok lor. i prepare the forms and let them write lor. more secretive worr..then i mar ok lor...

so, hopefully things will be better tomorrow.

but, anyway, chee onn is here, tms will not fail. i am working hard on tht man. gimme all the support u can...

Saturday, July 2, 2005

...tuesdays at starbucks...

...i have been reading alot about team motivation, being a good manager, good employee, how to manage the project well, etc. will catch up on my readings and yeap, aaron dude, lets meet up next week tuesday july 5th for yet another session. we call it...

:: tuesdays at starbucks ::

(logo used is from

objectives :
- chit chat and yam char session
- motivates each other to be a better person
- learn from each other
- sharing of experience
- being there for each other
- checking mails and chatting online
- incovar stuff

wakakaz...incovarians...mali mali join

...the chat with my manager...

...friday, july 1st 2005 :: it was about 630pm and almost all of my colleagues has left the office. somehow, something just triggered my mouth and i started chatting with my manager. this is what i talked to him about...

i told him about the team motivation and that most of us are like tired and demotivated and it seems that we have lost something. i also mentioned that, many people will look at tms to be a sure failure. i told my manager that, if we do not want to leave tms with 100% failure, but with 10% of success. i want to leave tms with my head up and proud to be surviving tms and that tms project is not 100% failure.

what was it that make this project went wrong? what was the wrong thing that we did?
so, what went well and what went wrong?

what went wrong?
- no project plan
- no manager driving the project
- no progress updates and progress meetings
- no manager setting right expectations
- no manager that communicates well with everyone
- no motivation
- no support
- no standardisation in the codes used for development
- no architecture or platform tht is agreed upon before starting
- no one is accepting the blame for anything
- no proper expectations set
- no one see the entire project
- no one believes the project will succeed

what went well?
- chee onn is in the project!!! wakakakz. help me to make this project a success

most of the facts given were directed towards the manager for not giving a project plan and that nobody knows where and when is our target and that everyone is lost. so many things to do in so short time. heck, i agree cos i don even have the project plan and that i had to do it myself. imagine a 6mil project without a concrete project plan. and, due to my manager's issues, i was somehow indirectly made the assistant manager - no official thing, but somehting for me to look forward to in this company.

know what, i really hated to be in this project. but, in fact, i am happy to be here. cos, the more problems i face in this project, i see it as an opportunity to fight better and go into the challenge and conquer the the war with greater heights.

yea, tms has taught me to see opportunity in problems and dead ends, it has shown me the true nature of people, some with stupid idiot bahaviour, some who are good frens to you, some in which are so dohh and not very the smart type - in cantonese we call them not "sing muk" one. and that there is a manager who is happy go lucky, no project plan, always eating and never have meeting, no progress updates, no agenda during meetings and yet, this project survived till now, 7 months down the road.

how can we salvage this project? and all my manager could say during yesterdays chat with him was, the problem lies in the management. give us all these 2nd class people and this is all tht we can produce. want better? give better resources. i was like, wtf man. i know we are in deep shit now. do we want to continue to be in deep shit or climb out from the shit and make everyone see us as the conqueror of the war and we are back alive.

i know, i want to climb out. even if without my manager's help. or that nobody supports my action. no matter what, i will make sure we climb out, not with 100% failure, but with at least 10% success. we will make sure everyone salutes to us when we return to iitc office.

i am goin to conquer tms prject and i am goin to be the manager of change for this project.