Friday, 10 September 2010

If you ask me no questions...

Having been a very bad blogger this year (although in my defence I have some justification for not being online as much), I'm starting to catch up a bit. Only 276 of your blog posts still to read. Piece of cake.


Talking of which, a department of the NHS (or
Commie Pinko Conspiracy To Leave You Destitute to you Americans) has recently been offering quite large sums of money to anyone who can think of a way to reduce hospital admissions by 30% over two years.

Now that seems quite a drastic reduction in a mere 24 months, until you think about the actual requirement here, which is to reduce
admissions by 30%.

Therefore my solution is thus;

Narrower doors.

Bear with me here. You see about 30% of the population are dangerously overweight/obese, and that causes health problems both in the short-term and the long-term. So by simply shrinking the size of all the entrances, no fat person would be able to get in - and if they can't get in then they can't get admitted.

Obviously it's not that simple. For a start, simply changing all the doors wouldn't remotely eat up the huge budget allowed for this, and I'm all about reducing waste. So the next step would be bars on all the ground floor windows to stop an enthusiastic fatty rolling himself through one. I don't think we need to worry about any of the other floors because obese people don't use ladders.

Then we'd change the signs. Doors would now be known as 'Fatty Portals', and to use up the last bit of free cash we'd put up a few inspirational posters like these:

It couldn't possibly fail....

Obviously I jest, but it does highlight the problem with not setting the requirements of a project properly. I have to suffer this on a daily basis as someone who actually does 'the work' on a project. Too often we get ill defined requirements from a customer, deliver exactly that, and then spend the next six months changing it to be what they could've had to start with if only they'd told us
what they effing wanted in the first place.

As an example, I have in my inbox a requirement for which I have to provide an estimate of the effort required to complete it. The requirement in its entirety is:

Show statistics on the web

Now that could take ten minutes or ten years depending on how you define 'show', 'statistics' and 'web'. In fact, knowing this particular client, the definitions of 'on' and 'the' are probably up for interpretation too. Whatever estimate I come up with, however, will not be allowed to change and I will be crucified for over-shooting it, yet a realistic (and therefore large) estimate will mean the work goes elsewhere. Joy.

So all of the above is really a roundabout way of saying that I'm off on a Requirements Gathering course next week so won't be around (not that anyone would particularly notice at the moment!). I shall be educated in asking the right questions at the start of a project to make sure the usual problems are not faced. I presume the questions are:

'You want
'You want it
'Are you fucking insane or what?'

Have a nice week y'all.


Pearl said...

Ha! I think your idea is fantastic! The answer was right there in the question!

Admissions. Why I oughta...

You know, if they buck at that you might want to suggest removing some of the hospitals as well. Hey! Ya can't get into what's not there.


Anonymous said...

Dear fellow squirrel,
I have been lurking at your site for awhile. I have been enjoying your posts and dry humor. Thanks. Although I may be excluded by your fatty portals.

Anonymous said...


I wondered when my two favorite squirrels would meet up.

Little Squirrel...don't discriminate against chubby/fluffy/portly people! Think outside the box.

Charge everybody (skinny people too) in advance for their hospital stay.

Post a notice, 'If you require admission to hospital, you must pay before entering.
No Exceptions!'

Folks will be outraged, therefore, they will decline a stay in hospital and admissions will drop by 50 - 75%!!!!

I've single handedly saved your country.

Your Welcome.

Red Squirrel said...

Pearl - now removing hospitals was something I hadn't considered! We could always cull 30% of the population too :)

lgsquirrel - welcome :)

I'd probably be excluded too, but at least I'd have met my target..

Sweet Cheeks - I'm not convinced. You have to pay a fortune to get into US hospitals and yet more get admitted there than over here.

How about banning anyone who's name starts with a vowel?