Was a Y2k project ever a waste of time?

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I quote Robert below:

No group, no agency, no programmer, no CFO, no executive has - _after_ finishing a project, _after_ getting to a point of being ready to test his results - has ever said:

"It was a waste of time."

"We didn't need to do it."

"Nothing would have happened."

"We should have worried about something else."

It has been my experience with 3 large companies I've worked for (Insurance, Credit Card, Software House), that y2k is a real problem. Had they not fixed y2k they would have gone out of business (first 2) or suffered severe disruptions (last 1).

But there may be some organisations that are unaffected by y2k (I don't mean the little corner antique/bricabrac shop with manual ledgers).

Presumably these would include small operations with fairly new software.

Does anyone know of any companies that had a y2k project but found nothing to fix.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), November 04, 1998



We've found some SME's that could have "gotten by". Even these had some level of problems that they were glad they found. You're going to find some of these smaller companies have instances where "Joan over in accounting can't get her system to work." is the only problem they have. But for the most part, most are going to have at least some impact. What worries me is that if the only problem they have is not being able to get into their "Quickbooks", are they going to be able to wait the 2 to 3 months it takes for someone to get around to them. Currently, without Y2K, many biz owners report waits of 2 to 3 weeks to get even a local computer guy to come see them. What's it going to be like when all these small biz guys find out the 486 running an old FoxPro database actually did have a problem?

-- Greg Sugg (gregsugg@bbnp.com), November 04, 1998.

Heard of a couple places that thought about Y2K - then said 'heck with it' and just installed everything new. One was a pretty large company that did mostly data processing work too. Not exactly time wasted on Y2K - but they certainly went the high road on remediation.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), November 04, 1998.

richard, you ask interesting questions. you must be writing a book. anyway, the answer to your question so far in northern indiana is NO,; everyone that has looked has found something that needed fixing.

-- Jocelyne Slough (jonslough@tln.net), November 05, 1998.

I suppose I'm better at asking questions than answering, book yes good idea. The y2k book market has a limited life-span maybe I should be starting to write about the aftermath (get it written in advance). I'm trying to play devil's advocate to find out all sides of the argument. I thought there would have been a chorus of "yes we found nothing much to worry about". Surely this must be the case for many companies.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), November 05, 1998.

Richard: Imagine if we did a anonymous survey on this forum to find out how far "these" people have gotten on testing and upgrading their own PC's including software? I think we find some shocking results.

-- PNG (png@gol.com), November 05, 1998.

PNG...checked my PC, remediated what was important (i.e. got my patches and so forth) Even int he vein of third party testing I got a SECOND program to run the check after I thought I was all done to make sure I had gotten it. No certificate yet...maybe I will print myself one someday;)

"No group, no agency, no programmer, no CFO, no executive has - _after_ finishing a project, _after_ getting to a point of being ready to test his results - has ever said: (etc etc)

This is STRICTLY as devil's advocate. Thr programmer I would have no problem with, but why would you expect any CFO or excecutive, who most on this board have said were clueless in the first place, to have any more of a clue when you are done? If they didn't understand the problem when you started, I doubt they would know what to ask you when you were done.


-- Rick Tansun (ricktansun@hotmail.com), November 07, 1998.


That's why I phrased the original quote exactly that way: suppose an executive had absolutely no clue about what was going on. He has no idea what is behind the face of any computer - and has no idea about business but dollars and budget. ([In the real world - these guys got where they are by not being this stupid, but you and Dilbert can argue that issue.)

If no example of this kind of person, at this level in any company - who knows nothing but dollars and profits - has said "It was a waste of time." then isn't that the best indication that the evidence (as each project continues or gets closer to completing) is as compelling as we assume?

In other words, if the "clueless" executives and people who are paying millions from their profits, who are taking stock folio hits in their own pockets from Y2K remediation expenses, are not complaining about the expense, then isn't that evidence that their company (their job) would have suffered had they saved the money?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 07, 1998.

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