Herding Cats - That's My Job....
By Kem Butller-Oracle on Jun 21, 2011
Written by Mike Schmitz - Sr. Director, Program Management Oracle JD Edwards
I remember seeing a super bowl commercial several years ago showing some well dressed people on the African savanna herding cats. I remember turning to the people I was watching the game with and telling them, “You just watched my job description”. Releasing software is a multi-facetted undertaking. In addition to making sure the code changes are complete, you also need to make sure the other key parts of a release are ready. For example when you have a question about the software, will the person on the other end of the phone be ready to answer your question? If you need training on that cool new piece of functionality, will there be an online training course ready for you to review? If you want to read about how the software is supposed to function, is there a user manual available?
Putting all the release pieces together so they are available at the same time is what the JD Edwards Program Management team does. It is my team’s job to work with all the different functional teams so when a release is made generally available you have all the things you need to be successful. The JD Edwards Program Management team uses an internal planning tool called the Release Process Model (RPM) to ensure all deliverables are accounted for in a release. The RPM makes sure all the release deliverables are ready at the correct time and in the correct format. The RPM really helps all the functional teams in JD Edwards know what release deliverables they are accountable for and when they are to be delivered.
It is my team’s job to make sure everyone understands what they need to do and when they need to deliver. We then make sure they are all on track to deliver on-time and in the right format. It is just that some days this feels like herding cats.