Tiger Team Without the Bite

Last year we had some bad performance problems in our system. The users decided to turn on some functionality which delay processing until night. It was a valid work around. But it did not cure the root cause of the problems. This year there was a worry that the problems would come back. So the big boss put together a tiger team to attack the problem. He chose one of the new members of our team to represent us in the tiger team.

There was one big problem with this plan. Our system is complex. No matter how competant a developer you are, it just takes time to learn the ropes. The new developer from our team attended the tiger team meetings. However she just ended up confused. She asked me and our team lead for help. I was chosen to assist.

The new developer provided a document that listed ideas from a recent brainstorming session that the tiger team had. The new developer could read the words from the document. But it was all Greek to her. I defined some of the key terms. Then I tried to paint the big picture of what the tiger team was kicking around.

Today our new developer is tasked with producing a proposal for changes to our apps in order to alleviate performance problems. Good luck. For grins I got sent a copy of the proposal. I knew we were in trouble when the main app names from our suite were mispelled. Ouch.

My team lead thought we could come in and rescue this effort. I advised against it. This thing is going to need to fail hard before people in charge understand that you just can't throw new resources at a tough problem and expect much good to come from it.