Friday, December 08, 2006

Nightouts - Good or Bad ?

Useful Night-outs occur in one of these scenarios:
1. Project Delivery Phase.

2. When the person would like to work "extra" to complete a calculated portion of the work.
3. When the person is unable to complete a standard work within the allotted time of 9 hours.
4. Debugging / Error correction.
5. Correction of a Dangerous Error on a live server.
6. Negotiation Discussions with other geographies on their time.
And maybe just a couple more. I have not mentioned concall here since you are free to leave after the call 95% of the time, except when it leads to a situation of one of the above. And it is always kept in a comfort zone for India and US.

More than a night-out, it must be thought in respect of commitment to the cause, and any reason above will not hurt you or the company, since it occurs on very few occasions and many last a few days and it is never permanent. Being committed means delivery on the promised schedules. This creates a sense of achievement and satisfaction to all stakeholders namely,
1. You
2. Your colleagues on the project / team
3. Project Manager
4. Delivery Head
5. Relationship Manager
6. Practice Head
7. CEO
8. Customer / Client
9. Potential Clients.

Any company to progress must achieve and deliver against forecast results. In order for all of us to grow and excel, we sometimes do night-outs too.

You must also take into account those days where you are not pressed or pressurized for work completion during other phases of the SDLC. And after delivery and signoff, there is always a period from 1 week to 15 days where there is very less or no work at all until you get allotted to a different project.

But most other cases where night outs are made but not necessary:
1. You sit since everybody sits.
2. You are not able to complete the work allotted to you within time allotted to you since you while away your office hours in a irresponsible manner.
3. Come late and go late.
4. Overload - You accept too many responsibilities.
5. Overshoot - You miscalculate the time required to complete the job.
6. Just browsing to spend time.
Here, you not only hurt yourselves but also the company and both stand to lose on health, time and money. Night-outs should not be made a practice since in the long term; it will hurt all the stakeholders.

1. Work Smart!
2. If you have over estimated, admit it and try to correct ASAP.
3. Do not postpone you work. Even if you correct in time, test it and correct all errors.
4. Though an UAT will be made from customer side, try to do one from our side. It is better to be safe than sorry.