Best comment I've seen : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've been prepping for more than a year now; have visited this forum almost daily for a year as a lurker; have read the Senate report; have checked North's site regularly; and have dropping in on many of the others. Through all that, I read a response this morning that, IMHO, says it all. The comment was by Jon Williamson and it was an answer to a post about a compliant bank.

"Not a bank, but a small company in Grand Rapids MI named Keeler Brass is 100% ready. 250 employees. Started in 1995. Finished in 1998. Team disbanded. MIS manager in my files looking for a job. The small size and the length of time it took to finish underline some reasons for the rarity of these tidbits of information."

That last sentence speaks volumes and succinctly explains why we're facing real problems.

-- Ranger (, April 20, 1999


And remember, all the small and mid-size companies write more paychecks than all the Fortune 1000 combined.


-- Diane J. Squire (, April 20, 1999.

See also post and link re UK government's actions to help small-medium businesses at:

-- Old Git (, April 20, 1999.

The length of time it takes for any company to become Y2K compliant is not necessarily as telling as you might think. A lot has to do with the size of the job, the number of resources assigned to it, the priority that Y2K work has over production issues, etc.

Human factors must be counted for. Most projects will take up whatever time is allocated. Test for yourself. Try getting up a half hour earlier than your normal time and see if you actually get to work a half hour earlier. Ever witnessed six county workers standing by while one digs the ditch? There's lots of goofing off potential in a 3 year project.

And business priorities must also be counted for. Most businesses I know that have been working on Y2K for any length of time have done so as a secondary priority. They squeeze in a few hours every other day between new production projects and maintenance of old production software.

The software development company that I work for completed Y2K remediation in less than a year. Most of the work was done in less than 6 months with clean-up issues trailing behind. We've been 100% compliant since September, 1998.

-- David (, April 20, 1999.

But how much actual time was put into the project? Was it constant work, or was it sporadic? One of our companies (150 employees, chemical finishing industry) began in February and we are already finished. We checked around 200 controllers and machines around our plants, HVAC, phone systems. We had very few issues (the phone system was actually one of them: the only problem was that it wouldn't show the date correctly on its screen). Had we started and then stopped, the project probably could have taken well over a year to do. Additionally, if we decided to make upgrades as part of the project, it would have taken longer. Incidentally, although we our more than confident that it will be business as usual, our attorney has advised us not to make statements regarding our compliance.

It's irresponsible to show that one small business (Keeler Brass) took 3 years to remediate without knowing the underlying activities and then attempt to extrapolate that. With the millions of small businesses operating in the U.S., you shouldn't be so quick to grasp on to one company's experience and then attempt to show that as a boiler plate example. I know of at least 4 of our customers that are of comparable size to Keeler Brass. Their Y2K projects, including both embedded systems and computers, lasted anywhere from 1 to 6 months.

Also keep in mind that over 75% of small businesses have 4 employees or less. I believe that number jumps to 90% for small businesses under 9 employees. Many of these companies have computers for efficiency purposes. They do not need them in order to ensure continuity of operations. I can tell you that in our small businesses (ranging in size from about 25 employees to 150), we could operate all of them even if our computers went down.)

I will try and post the SBA web page link later for the numbers that I gave you.

-- CJS (, April 20, 1999.

My wife's boss (CIO so to speak) has been informed by the IV&V company doing the audit that once the audit is done, they can't touch a line of code, or the audit becomes null. I gotta wonder if they have something that needs fixed (new bug?) what they are going to do.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 20, 1999.

A brief snip from chapter five of Peter de Jager's book "Managing 00: Surviving the Year 2000 Computing Crisis":

[Capers] Jones also validates our estimation that an enterprise starting in 1997 is likely to get through only about 80 percent of its applications; if it waits until 1999, only 30 percent. And even conceding that only 30 percent of the applications may be criticial to the business of the enterprise, that 30 percent is probably attached by data to another 40 percent of the other applications that won't make the transition in time. At best, the organization will be crippled; at worst, it will no longer exist.

Of course, this applies mostly to medium and large businesses. The biggest potential threat to small business is that many of them will be needing BIOS and software updates in January 2000--all at the same and with possible supply chain problems.

-- Kevin (, April 20, 1999.

Kevin ---- ssshhh!

-- BigDog (, April 20, 1999.

Goodness. Didn't mean to cause a stir...

If I remember correctly the conversation, the project was a pretty steady effort during that time. It did not encompass 100% of their IT budget, but it would not have been started if the IT manager had not "pirated" the funds from a project that had been funded then cancelled for the Y2K work. When next years budget came along, enough had been invested it was better to go forward than discontinue.

Now, I'm about an "8" or so on the doombrood scale, but I took a chance on confidentiality issues to post the most precise information I had on that company.

I'm an outsider, not an employee, so I don't have any more details to give. I did think it was worth passing on, if only as an example of an organization that had started in time, finished in time, and had disbanded the Y2K team.

For whatever it was worth, good or bad.

-- Jon Williamson (, April 20, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ