Saturday, September 24, 2005

Walking off, and Going to China Project

This is one of the times that I am proud to be a ThoughtWorker.

We have been working with the current client for over a half year (I joined three months ago). The agreement has always been that this is a transformation (formerly known as enablement) project, that, given the clients' background of waterfall approach and ThoughtWorks' experience in agile development, should rely highly on ThoughtWorks' input. That is, for a start, during the scoping phase form a small group (6) and have one on one ratio of ThoughtWorker and the employee from the client.

But apparently someone thinks that if they pay us they own us. Before the pilot project even starts (hence gets the requirement), there is already order from high up to use one of those so called "J2EE framework server". And during the initial phase, there are going to be 9 people instead, with only 3 from ThoughtWorks. All these decisions are made without even consult ThoughtWoks (you would think that should be the reason to hire a "consultant"). And no reason has been given for these decision.

So as the current finishes this month. The manager decided not to renew it and walk off from a project that is not built on a solid ground of trust and understanding, even thought the rate on this project is fair and we might have a good account. This decision got the support from the headquarter and the four of us are already on the list of available consultants for October.

As for me, I am really glad of the decision being made, because that shows that we are serious about being good at what we do, and the we care about have happy consultants on the project.

Another good reason for me to be happy is that the moment my name come up, there is already a good project for me to go -- China. Because of this and last transformation project that I worked on, and the fact that I speak Madrine, I turn out to be a good fit for this project that needs someone to come in and help out. Time is short so I am busy working on the visa and travel plans.

At this moment, my goal of China trip is the following, I am still updating it:
  • Get to know the ThoughtWorkers in China: I have heard of great things about the people that we hire there. I need to spend as much time as I can to get to know them and exchange our experiences to learn from each other.
  • Get to know the market in China: Despite the great potential in Xi'an, I still think there should be a lot of opportunities in Beijing and Shanghai. Agile software development in China is getting a lot of attention, if we don't grasp the market and build our good names, there will be someone else very soon.
  • Get to know the IT environment: There might be a lot of things that I am taking for granted here that is not as available. Programming in a non-English speaking environment might bring different dynamics.


Anonymous said...

If your client sees this, it certainly wont look good for either you or ThoughtWorks.

Shane said...

And would you care to state the reason or just shooting off a comment like that?

Anonymous said...

sorry, I meant that if the client sees comments abt the relationship between your employer and the client written as in this post, it may disturb them. From personal experience, its better to leave out specifics.

Shane said...

Maybe I have not been clear before. At ThoughtWorks we honor openess and being forthcoming, so of all the things that I have mentioned here, the client has already known about them. There are actually more facts that I am not able to log without revealing things that I should not.

Anonymous said...

I think you are right about if thoughtworks should set up offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Xi'am may have its edge, but definetly Beiing and Shangham will make up whatever Xi'an has with other tremendous advantages. Why should you trust me? Because I was born in Xi'an and lived there for 24 years.