Development – Be prepared for a long weekend =)

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Well, not that long ago, I got a really exciting text from my partner.  He had a presentation on Monday (he sent the text on Thursday night).  AWESOME.  But (why is there always a caveat?), the prospect is on an old version of SAP (older than any system I’ve built since I started this adventure.)  Yikes!!!

Well, what do you do in this situation?  One, get out front of the customer.  I had Mike make sure to explain that their system is on a version that we haven’t tested WMigo on (or any other app for that matter).  Next, I had Mike check to make sure all the standard SAP functions used in the application existed in their system.  While this isn’t a guarantee, at least it told me if we would be immediately disqualified.  He did a quick check for me, and found out they all existed.  So far so good.  But now is where the fun came in.  On Friday, Mike explained that their business was looking for some things that weren’t originally incorporated into WMigo.  Namely functionality around quality inspections, or good receipts from production orders/purchase orders.  These are all good things to include, but having a demo on Monday, and it was already Friday immediately made me push the panic button.  Luckily for me, I was able to defer some of the stuff that Mike requested until version 1.1, but there were still things that needed to be added before Monday.

So, with a late night on Friday, I was feeling reasonable confident.  Mike was working on the presentation, everything looked good.  Saturday night arrived, my wife went to bed so I walked up to the office to check on Mike’s progress.  That’s when things got ugly.  Unfortunately, the functionality that Mike intended to demo hadn’t been tested.  He assumed it was all there, and didn’t try it.  So we worked till 4AM, bug hunting, adding new functionality, and just generally enhancing WMigo to give Mike what he needed for the demo.

While there’s no better form of motivation than a time schedule, I’m hoping to avoid this in the future.  I learned a valuable lesson.  I need to find out up front exactly what functionality needs to be shown to the prospect ASAP.  That way I can make sure I can run a quick test, or let my partner know that I don’t really know how that part works (in this case, much of the functionality was round PS, a weak point for me), so I could’ve turned it over to him to try it immediately…  not wait an extra 2 days.

The moral of the story, even good news comes with consequences, and like any good boy scout, make sure you’re prepared for anything (even an all nighter).

Thanks for reading.

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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