Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Process

I've started to become increasingly comforted by routine and process. This is either because I'm becoming set in my ways and old or because I really need some kind of prescription. I'm not sure which choice bothers me more, to be honest.
But every morning I head over to the tower cafeteria. There, without fail, Miss Izzy is waiting to make whole wheat pancakes with sugar-free syrup.
I get a cup of coffee ("Javanilla" - which as a flavor is on the downward arc of a career highlighted by a battle with Mothra in the streets of Tokyo), and I return to my desk to continue facing the day.
Everything after that choreographed cafeteria trip is pretty random. There is no way of knowing what will break or what team will veer off the deployment plan in some exciting and terrible way.
I've decided that the key to successful project management may lie in spending more time on my trip to the cafeteria, just absorbing the magic.
From what I've seen, the cafeteria staff is the only group which has, or at least adheres to, any form of process.
In my time here, I have never seen them fail at pancakes.
They have never had to "roll back" to previous batter.
They never advertised Southern Pecan, determined that Southern Pecan was incompatible with the approved griddle, then started handing people Blueberry without customer notification.
There has never been an issue where Sweet Potato Pancakes were deployed to the griddle area where it was discovered that yam-based breakfast foods were not Department of Defense authorized and they were left to burn to cinders while someone tried to find the right web form to request that Sweet Potato Pancakes be added to an exclusion list.
They do not offer Banana Nut, then discover that there is not enough mix for that, then dilute it with Strawberry and come out with something which is neither as good as Banana Nut or Strawberry which they call "Fruit Punch".
They have never, to my knowledge, scheduled Blueberry, deployed Strawberry, and spent $3.6 million retro-fitting the cafeteria with ultraviolet lighting to make red pancakes appear blue.
In short, something they do in the kitchen works and the rest of the company is foolish to ignore their success.
Additionally, turkey sausage is offered.
I won't even get into egg options, since the agility of the egg deployment infrastructure has me honestly questioning my career choice.

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