There’s a young hipster making his way up through the ranks. He’s the “great hope” and is given an ambitious project to run. The project will make the company a bucket of cash. He’ll win awards etc.

He assembles his team. They draw wire diagrams, make project plans and hack code on a few old PCs. He assembles a “business case”: a PowerPoint with impressively opaque “business language”. He asks for money. Something like:

  • 10 people (project manager, developers, testers, designers etc.)
  • 6 months or 110 work days (A year is typically 220 workdays)
  • $1000/person/day (damned consultants!)
  • Multiplication gives a $1.1million budget

The budget expectation is set and he goes about getting approval (going for coffee) from management.
Imagine the sinking feeling when he gets to the IT Infrastructure team. The IT infrastructure guy hits him with annoying questions like:

How many hits will your site get? What are the growth projections? What is the impact if the site goes down? Does it run our middleware? How important is the data?

He answers as best he can:

The site must never go down of course. We better have a backup site. We’ll need somewhere to develop and test. What do you mean I have to have a performance test site?

The IT infrastructure comes back in two weeks with the following high-level costing and design:

"IT Infrastructure" "virtualization" "cloud" "web application"

  • 16 servers, 5 databases
  • Resourcing: ~200-300 days – ~$350,000
  • Hardware & Software: $100,000
  • Total ~$450,000

The “great hope” flinches! An extra half a million dollars! But computers are so cheap on eBay! His mate runs a start-up uses hosting that costs a few bucks a month.
He flies professionally through the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. He’ll have to re-set budget expectations.

When can this be delivered, he asks?

The IT Infrastructure guy:

We can’t start your project for 2-4 weeks because noone is available. You should have told us about your project 6 months ago.  It’ll take 3 months to get you the platforms.

Is this true of your IT world? Any stories to share? Or is your IT shop squeaky clean? Leave a comment below: