Saturday, August 13, 2005

What do you think about project management?

What do you use for project management tracking, planning and design?

Has Sarbanes-Oxely impacted your work life?

Lots of folks are up in arms over what lots of folks affectionately refere to as sox. People from all walks of business and in all job types are feeling put upon by a call to standards and visibility. The need for compliance and the companion need, honestly much more stressful, is understanding just what compliance requires.

The requirements are thick, and vague. The thickness is probably to make sure they didn't leave out even auditing the guy pumping gas at the filling station, and the vagueness...well their are two perspectives on that. Some feel it is vague to allow each business the freedom to implement what makes the most sense. A lot of others feel the vagueness is to allow the government to come back and put the squeeze on suspect companies. A more paranoid group might see the vagueness as a way for businesses somehow distantly tied to some unknown person or persons in government to profit. Amazingly in the wake of sox being required, there have sprung up auditing firms. Firms anxious to tell you what you aren't compliant on based on their interpretation of the sox documentation.

Motives and standards aside, it comes down to the actual worker bees of the company to deal with. For a lot of these folks, even the most basic paperwork is alien to them in getting a job done. In my experience, a phone call was often enough effort get a job from request to completion. So requesters, in my opinion, are probably experiencing as much stress as what a developer might. Imagine the contrast between a 5 minute phone call versus a form or forms requiring not only several minutes to complete but perhaps twice that to hash out with the team doing the work.

I'm sure each of you can see how this extends to managers, programmers, and general support folks. The biggest complaint I hear is how it slows down the work, the paper work completion that is. The second biggest complaint is understanding how and what paperwork to fill out.

The people I find most often not complaining either don't know what sox is yet, or have woken up and realized that maybe total visibility is a good thing, and no longer will they have to wonder if that stray phone call will come back to haunt them after some programmer goes off and spends 20 hours developing some random thing.

You tell me. Is this going to grind business to a halt or will workers of all stripes across the country embrace, challenge and mold this into success?


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