In the spring of 2010, D'Arcy Lussier (the conference organizer) and I were talking about the conference and he confessed to me that he was trying to cut costs. We brainstormed some ideas and prioritized them using a risk assessment matrix. Just before D'Arcy brought out his MS Project gantt chart, I suggested a new idea - Why don't we make the food ourselves! Knowing my reputation as an accomplished food critic and noted chef, D'Arcy quickly agreed and called the hotel to cancel his lunch orders.
I took on the responsibility of planning the meal in advance; purchasing and delivering the ingredients from the finest markets in Regina. The morning of the first day of the conference, D'Arcy and I met in one of the unused conference rooms to prepare the meal. We knew that our gourmet Ham & Cheese sandwhiches would be a huge hit.
Here was our work break down structure (straight out of MS Project)
|Setup 8 preparation tables||8:15am||8:30am|
|Open 100 loaves of bread||8:30am||8:40am|
|Layout individual bread slices on the tables||8:40am||9:10am|
|Spread gourmet mayonaise on the even slices of bread||9:10am||9:30am|
|Spread garlic butter on the odd slices of bread||9:30am||9:50am|
|Put smoked ham on top of the even slices of bread||9:50am||10:10am|
|Put Trappist Monk Cheese on top of the even slices of bread||10:10am||10:30am|
|Put 3 slices of pre-smoked bacon on top of the even slices of bread||10:30am||10:50am|
|Put Emerald Frizz lettuce on top of the even slices of bread||10:50am||11:10am|
|Put the odd slices of bread on top of the even slices of bread to create each sandwhich||11:10am||11:30am|
|Put a toothpick topped with an olive through the middle of each sandwhich||11:30am||11:50am|
|Test the sandwhiches||11:50am||12:00pm|
Fortunately, when we sheepishly went to report this to the catering staff at the Delta, they kindly informed us that they were pretty sure we would fail and had prepared a wonderful lunch anyways. So, the attendees were spared, and D'Arcy and I graciously thanked the Delta for being such great hosts.
The lesson? If we wouldn't make lunch that way, why would we create software that way? Instead, shorten the distance between a possible problem and its resolution by frequently delivering working software and testing every day. First-Time-Right for the win.
Enjoy your lunch! Hope to see you at PrairieDevCon.