"Let me guess" started Justin with a wry smile, "Mr. Van Halen is on 'strike' because he found a brown M&M, right?"

With a beleaguered look, Brian glared back over the rim of his glasses "If only - check your email."

Justin's manager had forwarded to him and Brian a very long running email thread involving the product group, his director, the VP of IT, and the new consultant for the E-Business group. Famous for his often insane requests (like refusing to even start work until he was given a window office, personal coffee maker, and unblocked Internet access) he encouraged everybody to call him Eddie, but outside of planning meetings, everybody just referred to him by his more appropriate rock star moniker.

The email thread was a jumbled mess of back-and-forth negotiation, but in a nut shell, all design and development was on hold until a specific Enterprise Source Control Management System was put in place. Clearly, eSCM was "clearly superior" to the SVN server they had in place.

Despite the consultant's hissy fit, upper management had seemingly caved to the consultant's demands, declaring the eSCM software as "business critical" and while there was technically no money budgeted for hardware, nor did anyone even have a project plan, it was to be the newest top priority.

With little recourse, Justin dropped everything and contacted the consultant to get some rough details on what he needed. Resources were cobbled together, servers configured, security enabled, duct tape applied, and while still a bit rough, all in all, to Justin and Brian's satisfaction, they had gotten in place what they felt was a robust solution for cheap.

Next step was to get the users up to speed on the "next great thing" they'd be using. Justin and Brian had a lunch and learn with the product group to get them up to speed. The consultant came in, we turned over the system to him, confirmed all was well, and he did his thing.

With each month that passed, Justin and Brian had not heard one single peep about the system that they had prepared. Justin had called the consultant just to check-in on how things were going, but all calls went straight to voicemail and his executive-style office door was perpetually closed which could only mean that he was not meant to be disturbed.

Several months later a faulty breaker took down the server rack the system was in. Justin and Brian sprang into action and got things back up and running and recovered from the failure in little over an hour. Wanting to confirm that everything was functioning as expected, Justin dropped in on the Project Manager from the product group.

"Oh that." the manager said with a light bulb coming on over his head. "Yeah, we don't use it."

"Well what about Eddie, the consultant?"

"Yeah, 'Mr. Van Halen' moved on to another gig. He's gone, months ago."

Justin sat there dumbfounded. "Are you sure it's not used? It was a pretty big project."

The manager sat back and laughed, "Heh heh. Yeah he wanted to store all our SQL and scripts in the eSCM. He got it all setup, but when we tried to use it was just too difficult so we stopped."

Justin paused, carefully choose his words, and asked "So, what do you currently do?"

"After every change, we put everything into a zip archive and track changes in a spreadsheet. All of it is on our shared drive."

Curious, Justin asked for the name of the share where the files were located only to be told "Sure, hang on, let me find the asset tag on my tower."

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