Comment On Invasion of the Consultants

The tension in the conference room was thicker than black pudding and twice as vile. Marc and his boss, Greg, sat on one side of the table. Across from them were the Consultancy Drones, each in a grey suit with a Bluetooth ear-piece pinned to their ears. At the head of the table sat Judy, the project sponsor. Projected on the wall behind her were Gantt charts and dashboards and metrics. [expand full text]
« PrevPage 1 | Page 2 | Page 3Next »

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:07 • by manias (unregistered)
I thought Marc said thre aren't any concerns, so I was mighty confused until the end of the article.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:07 • by dpm (unregistered)
This would be funnier if it were not so grossly exaggerated; all the sci-fi references are just gilding a potential lily.

Futility

2013-02-19 08:08 • by pedxing (unregistered)
Commenting is futile!

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:11 • by The Count (unregistered)
The RWTF is what happened to the fith consultant?

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:15 • by Sam (unregistered)
massive IT efforts were required. The Consultants had constructed the project plan without ever discussing the matter with IT.
After reading this I had to check the author -- I was sure it was going to be snoofle.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:15 • by Rick (unregistered)
I got first post today. I merely failed to document it.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:16 • by Steve The Cynic
So "Requirements are 100% complete" means, unexpectedly (?), that requirements gathering might be able to be considered complete, but the requirements analysis and publication (the hard part) are not even begun.

Oh, and black pudding is not "pudding" in the normal American sense of that word. It is a sort of blood sausage, and the word "thick" doesn't really seem appropriate, except perhaps as a measure of its diameter.

In Britain, of course, it is famous for being the weapon of choice of the practitioners of the martial art of Ecky Thump. And if you don't know what I am talking about, go look it up. Beware, because goggle will find pages containing 'icky' if you don't put "Ecky" in quotes.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:17 • by Andrew (unregistered)
Tester: "There's still that bug with [problem statement]!"
Me: "What is the issue number?"
Tester: "I haven't entered it in [bug tracking software] yet."
Me: "If it's not been recorded, then it doesn't exist."

We've successfully extended this attitude to requirements. Product quality has been pretty good.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:19 • by Sockatume (unregistered)
Steve, you're overlooking the other factual error in that black pudding is delicious.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:19 • by ObiWayneKenobi
Outline resembles the inferior species known as Consultants. EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!

-----
Consultant Leader: Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Consultants.
Dalek Sec: This is not war. This is pest control!
Consultant Leader: We have five million Consultants. How many are you?
Dalek Sec: Four.
Consultant Leader: You would destroy the Consultants with four Daleks?
Dalek Sec: We would destroy the Consultants with one Dalek! You are superior in only one respect.
Consultant Leader: What is that?
Dalek Sec: You are better at dying.

Addendum (2013-02-19 08:37):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBSOhODoch0

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:20 • by Jack (unregistered)
Yesterday we went live with an extremely simple web site that took two years to build anyway. The first PM quit a year in when we were just short of launch, and all work done to date mysteriously disappeared. The site that is live now bears very little resemblance to the thing we tested for 8 weeks in QA. I cannot even imagine the depth of WTFFFFFFFFF that made that possible.

Yeah I gave them written requirements at the start (two years ago, remember). Those requirements have changed very little. But they ignored them and built what they wanted instead, which now, doesn't work.

Can I get some Consultants. Please??

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:23 • by Riccardo (unregistered)
Marc, those aren't the requirements you're looking for!

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:26 • by Remy Porter
401520 in reply to 401513
I almost used Yorkshire pudding instead, which is closer to a pudding and is also vile.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:28 • by Steve The Cynic
401521 in reply to 401515
Sockatume:
Steve, you're overlooking the other factual error in that black pudding is delicious.

I wouldn't know - I've never actually tried it. Americans in general have some odd ideas about food, especially the less steak-like parts of pigs and cows. When I lived in the outskirts of Nashua (New Hampshire) in the late 80s, there was, across the road, a full-service butcher's shop. They were able to provide kidneys at a silly-small price because it was better to sell them to me at fifty cents a pound than to just throw them away because for some reason, most Americans won't eat kidneys, and some will look at you like you're stark staring mad if you say you like them.

And I'm happy, because I just got back from lunch where I had ... kidneys!

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:33 • by Remy Porter
401522 in reply to 401521
It's even worse- I believe it's illegal to sell the kidneys. I know it's illegal to sell the lung, which is why you can't make "real Haggis" in the US. It's hard to get offal in the US, which is sad, because I'd be up for trying some.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:34 • by Steve The Cynic
401523 in reply to 401520
Remy Porter:
I almost used Yorkshire pudding instead, which is closer to a pudding and is also vile.

There's only one word for you here.

"Wrong".

Although I'm tempted to add a second word.

"Philistine" or maybe "Heathen".

And if your Yorkshire pudding is measurable with the word "thick" (other than a measure of dimensions) it hasn't been cooked enough to set properly.

Properly made and cooked YP will set, and be that correctly-cooked colour sometimes called "golden brown". It should have risen a bit around the edges, and for the best results, you pour the batter into the roasting tin, with the joint of beef on a rack above it. If you do this, the YP catches all the meat juices and tastes just heavenly. Making gravy from the juices is a bit of a problem afterwards if you do this, but you can't win them all.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:34 • by ubersoldat
401524 in reply to 401516
ObiWayneKenobi:
You are better at dying.


I'm going to write that one down for my next collision with any consultant.
Although I actually work with many of them on a daily basis, and they're usually very helpful, I totally despise those who come with the "consultant" role written all over their suits.


Me: Here, this is the architecture of our BI system which has been working for five years providing reports and stuff without much maintenance effort
Big BI firm consultant: Wait, is this Java? And what is that Python thing?
Me: Yeah, that's why it works
Big BI firm consultant: yeah, we're going to set you up with "SuperMegaCorp BI Solution" because it's better.
Me: Consultants are the best! The best dying!

OTOH, TRWTF is that the forum and the articles use different formats for commenting (just had to remove a whole lot of HTML code from my comment, so yes, I'm pissed). So I got ask, Alex, when are you moving this to Discourse?

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:41 • by Steve The Cynic
401525 in reply to 401522
Remy Porter:
It's even worse- I believe it's illegal to sell the kidneys. I know it's illegal to sell the lung, which is why you can't make "real Haggis" in the US. It's hard to get offal in the US, which is sad, because I'd be up for trying some.


Hmm. When I lived there (over 20 years ago, how time flies when you're having fun), it wasn't illegal, or not in the states where I lived (NY, NH, MA), because you could sometimes (but not so often) get them in normal supermarkets. The main reason for their scarcity did seem to be related to a dislike of the idea of eating something that does what kidneys do.

Then again, that was before all the BSE stuff blew up in Britain. It later caused problems in the US - a colleague at the US branch of a company I worked for around 2000 was banned from giving blood in the US because he had spent too much time in the UK, eating potentially contaminated meat.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:47 • by justsomedudette (unregistered)
401526 in reply to 401520
Remy Porter:
I almost used Yorkshire pudding instead, which is closer to a pudding and is also vile.
Remy 'conify' Porter wash your mouth out!

And then get yourself a flight over here, you clearly are in need of some cultural training.

Captcha - populus, Remy wasn't very populus with the Brits.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:50 • by Ironside (unregistered)
"The tension in the conference room was thicker than black pudding"

"Marc did not slam his face into the table until he lost consciousness"

Today I found 2.

paratus

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 08:57 • by Al (unregistered)
OK

Not living with steak and kidney pie, Yorkshire pudding with gravy, or a couple of slices of black pudding with you breakfast fry-up would be a personal WTF.

My personal experience is that the consultants get paid a large amount of money to recommend that you spend more money on their own IT services whilst the internal IT may in return be given a few days and no information on the requirements to quote for work to be done within the company. Guess the consultants have a sales team and internal IT teams don't so you can never win.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:01 • by ZPedro
And the Collective was defeated by good old-fashioned Vulcan logic. It's something I like about the Agile framework: if there is no deliverable demonstrating something, then that thing does not exist.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:01 • by Mike (unregistered)
401530 in reply to 401525
I'm sure that brains, because the BSE, are illegal to sell, so it's now impossible to eat deep fried brains, like these

http://ricette.donnamoderna.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/images/ricette-importate/secondo/carne/cervella-fritta-dorata/piatto-pronto-portauova-uova-cervello-tagliere-ciotola-ciotolina-legno-formaggio-cucchiaini-di-legno/39165231-1-ita-IT/piatto-pronto-portauova-uova-cervello-tagliere-ciotola-ciotolina-legno-formaggio-cucchiaini-di-legno_dettaglio_ricette_slider_grande3.jpg

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:01 • by Bobby Tables (unregistered)
401531 in reply to 401520
Remy Porter:
I almost used Yorkshire pudding instead, which is closer to a pudding and is also vile.


You are horrifingly wrong. Yorkshire pudding is ambrosia.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:04 • by dgvid
"Documentation is irrelevant. Your archaic cultures are process-driven."

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:04 • by MrBester (unregistered)
401533 in reply to 401525
Steve The Cynic:
Hmm. When I lived there (over 20 years ago, how time flies when you're having fun), it wasn't illegal, or not in the states where I lived (NY, NH, MA), because you could sometimes (but not so often) get them in normal supermarkets. The main reason for their scarcity did seem to be related to a dislike of the idea of eating something that does what kidneys do.

Then again, that was before all the BSE stuff blew up in Britain. It later caused problems in the US - a colleague at the US branch of a company I worked for around 2000 was banned from giving blood in the US because he had spent too much time in the UK, eating potentially contaminated meat.


That's a bit rich, considering how many haemophiliacs in UK got Hep C from contaminated blood products from US.

Aside: Captcha has been used before as autocomplete suggested it. Nice.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:16 • by Andrew (unregistered)
This is definitely WTF, but I'm not a fan of meeting room melodrama.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:27 • by operagost
401536 in reply to 401510
The Count:
The RWTF is what happened to the fith consultant?

He took the first phaser hit so the others could adapt.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:27 • by snoofle
401537 in reply to 401507
article:
“Requirements are 100% complete!” Consultant Three-of-Four repeated. After an uncomfortable pause, he continued, “But they are not yet documented."

A good way to get rid of annoying forced-upon-you consultants in this case is to LET THEM DO IT! They claimed they can implement it in six weeks. Easy. Tell them they must provide you the written requirements right now and you will validate what they deliver in six weeks. If they can't provide the completed requirements, then they have zero credibility and a solid case for fraud and removal can be made.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:35 • by ptau (unregistered)
401538 in reply to 401526
justsomedudette:
Captcha - populus, Remy wasn't very populus with the Brits.

What, you're telling me there was only one of him?

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:40 • by Remy Porter
401539 in reply to 401538
Sadly, there isn't! Some guy wrote a book and used my name as his pen name, the jerk. It's some stupid zombie book, even.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 09:44 • by eric76 (unregistered)
401540 in reply to 401528
Al:
My personal experience is that the consultants get paid a large amount of money to recommend that you spend more money on their own IT services whilst the internal IT may in return be given a few days and no information on the requirements to quote for work to be done within the company. Guess the consultants have a sales team and internal IT teams don't so you can never win.


I used to work at one company where the consultants left the computer services completely alone. This was back in the early 80s.

Up until sometime in the late 1970s, the company purchased time on a remote computer to do their accounting. At some point they hired a computer manager to come up with recommendations for and to install and manage a computer system. After looking around, he proposed buying a PDP-11/70.

The consultants (from one of the biggest accounting/consulting firms) had a fit. They wanted the company to buy an IBM mainframe since they could pick up lots of consulting revenue from that. They didn't see any future in the company getting a PDP-11/70. They finally convinced the Senior VP to fire the new computer manager using the logic that a PDP-11/70 was an engineering computer, not an accounting computer, and that it was therefore unable to handle the accounting. The Senior VP then called the computer manager into the meeting at end of which he would be fired. He had already hired a replacement.

Just that very morning, the latest Datamation had arrived. The lead story was something about one of the really big banks (Citibank, I think), buying a number of PDP-11/70s to handle much of their processing. When the consultants started talking again about how a PDP-11/70 was an engineering computer and not an accounting computer, the manager asked how long had Citibank been in the engineering business. When the Senior VP asked what he meant, he showed them the Datamation magazine. The Senior VP looked at it a minute, canceled the meeting, and then called up the replacement he had already hired and told him that the position was no longer available.

The accounting/consulting firm nearly got canned in the process. After that, the consultants were so traumatized by the events, they left the computer department completely alone.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:02 • by Auction_God
401541 in reply to 401525
Steve The Cynic:
Then again, that was before all the BSE stuff blew up in Britain. It later caused problems in the US - a colleague at the US branch of a company I worked for around 2000 was banned from giving blood in the US because he had spent too much time in the UK, eating potentially contaminated meat.

Happily they have since removed (most of) the restriction. Now it is limited to only 1980-1996.
From 1980 through 1996,
28. Did you spend time that adds up to three (3) months or more in the United Kingdom? (Review list of countries in the UK)


Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:03 • by Retief (unregistered)
Holy cow, I just went through this last Friday.

Employer hired a goon from the cult of Scientology to coach the company. This guy is now overhauling all the IT systems with no input from anyone "because he's really smart".

I quit yesterday first thing in the morning.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:08 • by laoreet (unregistered)
Couldn't you have included everyone's favorite Borg? Voyager's 36 of D, of course.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:13 • by no laughing matter
First WTF: only five consultants in the meeting. Traditionally it must be nine.

TRWTF: No 7-of-9 in the story!

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:15 • by wombat willy (unregistered)
It's not really consultants that are the problem (since I am one lol).
The problem are the third party outsourcing companies that convince idiotic CIOs that they will save their company money.
These companies bring in a couple of experts (ie. yahoos) like the ones described in this article who then make unrealistic estimates that allow them to shove a foot in the door.
Next they bring in dozens of senior (ie. junior) level developers from a third world country to rack up as many hours as they possibly can and deliver ABSOLUTELY NOTHING of value.
I've seen this happen time and time again.
After 5 years of this, because the consultancy company is signed up for a contract with huge penalties if canceled, the CIO and his brain dead supporters are fired and the next guy comes in with a new plan to clean up the mess.
And round two of in-house development followed by round two of outsourcing.
It comes in 8-10 year cycles.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:20 • by Vlad Patryshev (unregistered)
Ha. Once I had spent 4 hours in my boss's office when he was trying to convince me to sign requirements that were (to me) a pile of incoherent crap. Them being complete...

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:23 • by HomeBrew (unregistered)
401547 in reply to 401544
no laughing matter:
First WTF: only five consultants in the meeting. Traditionally it must be nine.

TRWTF: No 7-of-9 in the story!


MMmmmmmmmm, 7-of-9.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:37 • by no laughing matter
401548 in reply to 401524
ubersoldat:

OTOH, TRWTF is that the forum and the articles use different formats for commenting (just had to remove a whole lot of HTML code from my comment, so yes, I'm pissed). So I got ask, Alex, when are you moving this to Discourse?
This site not only promises the daily WTF, it really delivers!

* A Captcha with about ten different words and which already has been hacked to show whatever someone likes.
* Two totally different forum systems.
* BB-Code which is not BB-Code: a simple [s]will not work[/s], because that would be too easy not a WTF. Instead it has to be "color=black;text-decoration:line-through".
* The most WTF of all, Akismet: It even forbids links to this very site, but is unable to detect the most generic of spam.

So it really is to annoy users on purpose!

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:42 • by nn (unregistered)
401549 in reply to 401541
Auction_God:
Steve The Cynic:
Then again, that was before all the BSE stuff blew up in Britain. It later caused problems in the US - a colleague at the US branch of a company I worked for around 2000 was banned from giving blood in the US because he had spent too much time in the UK, eating potentially contaminated meat.

Happily they have since removed (most of) the restriction. Now it is limited to only 1980-1996.
From 1980 through 1996,
28. Did you spend time that adds up to three (3) months or more in the United Kingdom? (Review list of countries in the UK)




It's the same in parts of Europe - I am not allowed to donate blood because I was in the UK from 09/1995 to 06/1996.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:45 • by lesle (unregistered)
401550 in reply to 401508
More like gelding a potential lily.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:46 • by lesle (unregistered)
401551 in reply to 401508
dpm:
This would be funnier if it were not so grossly exaggerated; all the sci-fi references are just gilding a potential lily.


More like gelding a potential lily.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:47 • by Steve The Cynic
401552 in reply to 401541
Auction_God:
Steve The Cynic:
Then again, that was before all the BSE stuff blew up in Britain. It later caused problems in the US - a colleague at the US branch of a company I worked for around 2000 was banned from giving blood in the US because he had spent too much time in the UK, eating potentially contaminated meat.

Happily they have since removed (most of) the restriction. Now it is limited to only 1980-1996.
From 1980 through 1996,
28. Did you spend time that adds up to three (3) months or more in the United Kingdom? (Review list of countries in the UK)


Of course, that wouldn't help my former colleague, because that's the period when he was in the UK a lot.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 10:56 • by ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
401554 in reply to 401530
Mike:
I'm sure that brains, because the BSE, are illegal to sell, so it's now impossible to eat deep fried brains, like these

http://ricette.donnamoderna.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/images/ricette-importate/secondo/carne/cervella-fritta-dorata/piatto-pronto-portauova-uova-cervello-tagliere-ciotola-ciotolina-legno-formaggio-cucchiaini-di-legno/39165231-1-ita-IT/piatto-pronto-portauova-uova-cervello-tagliere-ciotola-ciotolina-legno-formaggio-cucchiaini-di-legno_dettaglio_ricette_slider_grande3.jpg
That URL is a WTF by itself. Are they using the URL for keyword storage?

[zombie]BRAAAAAAAAINSSSSSSSSSSS!!![/zombie]

eric76:

The accounting/consulting firm nearly got canned in the process. After that, the consultants were so traumatized by the events, they left the computer department completely alone.
I love a happy ending.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 11:02 • by PseudoBovine (unregistered)
401555 in reply to 401514
Andrew:
We've successfully extended this attitude to requirements. Product quality has been pretty good.


In fact, product quality is so good, there's not been one bug or request for improvement filed in the last year!


Tester: "The bug reporting system is still down."
Me: "What is the issue number?"
Tester: "The reporting system is down - I can't enter it in [bug tracking software]!"
Me: "If it's not been recorded, then it doesn't exist!"

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 11:03 • by Mike (unregistered)
401556 in reply to 401532
You don't need to see the documents we know what needs to be done so why don't you? Clearly internal IT is incompetent we can get it done in 6 weeks. All we need is 20 consultants at $200 per hour each.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 11:05 • by lesle (unregistered)
401557 in reply to 401525
Steve The Cynic:
Remy Porter:
It's even worse- I believe it's illegal to sell the kidneys. I know it's illegal to sell the lung, which is why you can't make "real Haggis" in the US. It's hard to get offal in the US, which is sad, because I'd be up for trying some.


Hmm. When I lived there (over 20 years ago, how time flies when you're having fun), it wasn't illegal, or not in the states where I lived (NY, NH, MA), because you could sometimes (but not so often) get them in normal supermarkets. The main reason for their scarcity did seem to be related to a dislike of the idea of eating something that does what kidneys do.

Then again, that was before all the BSE stuff blew up in Britain. It later caused problems in the US - a colleague at the US branch of a company I worked for around 2000 was banned from giving blood in the US because he had spent too much time in the UK, eating potentially contaminated meat.

It's legal to sell kidneys in the U.S. The reason you seldom see kidneys in supermarkets anymore is because beef no longer comes to the supermarket meat department in hindquarters--typically it now comes from the warehouse already in smaller cuts. Beef kidneys are encrusted with the light, dry fat known as suet.

The best way to cook kidneys is to boil the piss out of them.

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 11:38 • by Mikerad (unregistered)
401558 in reply to 401557
lesle:

The best way to cook kidneys is to boil the piss out of them.

Figuratively or literally?

Re: Invasion of the Consultants

2013-02-19 11:40 • by JamesCurran
401559 in reply to 401508
dpm:
This would be funnier if it were not so grossly exaggerated; all the sci-fi references are just gilding a potential lily.


I agree 100%

« PrevPage 1 | Page 2 | Page 3Next »

Add Comment