Monday, May 26, 2008

Politically Correct Euphemisms in IT - Translated!

Politically Correct Euphemisms in IT - Translated!

(a little holiday weekend fun, for all the FEI folks retunrning from Boston ...)

I recently attended a professional seminar, and noticed a propensity for politically correct euphemisms to describe life in corporate IT. This was a typical group of IT professionals, representing a variety of companies - small and large, public and private. As with most group meetings, we started with a trip around the table; quick introductions, plus some highlights of "what's hot" for IT these days. The careful language wouldn't fool the experienced; however, a casual listener might see the knowing smiles on the nodding heads and think that we were either participating in a great conspiracy or dazed from too much coffee.

As I aspire on these pages to improve the quality of communication between IT and business, I feel duty bound to provide this partial translation page - what they say versus what they mean.

The project has been a challenge ...

    We bit off way more than we could chew, and will probably blow the budget by 50%

We are considering ...

    We talked about this one over beers, but there's no chance in heck of going forward ...

... looking at opportunities for SaaS ...

    We're under budget pressure, and are desperate to say something to keep Finance off our backs about data center costs.

The database is growing rapidly ...

    We massively underestimated growth rates, and are scrambling for capital to buy more disk.

The developer is quite aggressive ...

    ... they don't have time for documentation, debug in production and have polluted their workstation with multiple versions of component libraries that will cost millions to roll out

We did a pilot in CRM, and now we are comparing to

    The sales team played with it, realize they have to actually type data into the system, and now they're trying to delay as long as possible.

    ···- alternative -

    They asked for a shared contact database, we came with a $3M package implementation, and now we're scrambling to save face ...

... that's gonna stress us a bit ...

    Another six months of nights and weekends? Good thing my resume is up-to-date ...

We have managed to create 18 instances of the ERP

    The business can't make organizational decisions

    ···- alternative -

    Our development teams can't agree on a common QC cycle

    ···- alternative -

    We never had a long-term plan, this grew by evolution, and now we need a revolution

We've implemented (insert module name here) - which is ... interesting

    This thing has more bugs than a VW convention in a swamp; we're in a first name basis with the core development team, and half the code has our IP in it.

... using the latest and greatest, and some we're still waiting on ...

    The rep sold us vaporware, and we've already maxed his voicemail box demanding a delivery schedule (or a refund)

... after a lot of pain, discussion and analysis ...

    we are on our fifth attempt at implementing, but the business sponsor can't cancel because he's overcommitted on the ROI

It's a legacy system, home grown, and its old.

    We've gone through five lead developers, the original author is playing shuffleboard in Florida, and if the disk crashes we're hosed because we don't have the source.

This is going to drive quite a lot of work.

    I'm stunned at how poorly thought out the project plan is ...

[ long list of acronyms and letters]

    We are rabid technologists ... by the way, how come executive management doesn't invite me to meetings?

We're revisiting [something] (strategy, software package, implementation approach) after the acquisition ...

    Awesome! We can cancel this screwed up project and restart it after the new owner settles in!

    ···- alternative -

    The new team runs a pretty tight ship ... good thing my resume is up-to-date ...

We're going through a process of stabilization before rollouts continue.

    We hit too many walls and the business is fed up, so the project goes no further.

    ···- alternative -

    Another high priority project came along, and we got pushed down the to-do list.

The biggest challenge is the cultural shift.

    Technical implementation is equivalent to C:INSTALL, but we'll be in training classes for months.

We experienced a little bit of a hiccup.

    When the install dialog said "Are you sure?", I experienced a giddy sense of optimism that was quickly countered by a suitably horrible sound from within the drive ...

It's a learning opportunity ...

    It's a chance to hone our skills at backpedaling, debugging on the fly, and byte-level disk sector editing.

We met our service level objective

    Good thing we sandbagged the the target run rate.

... and this is what's going on ROW (Rest of World) ...

    We don't like international travel, so our strategy stops at the border ...

... (refers to ) my soon-to-be partner (acquisition/joint venture) ...

    ... my soon-to-be subordinate, unless kick him out of his chair ...

    ···- alternative -

    Good thing my resume is up-to-date ...

Regional translations may vary; I invite your input on additions and variations ...
Previously (on the lighter side) ...

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