So, here we are - the ops team beavering away on the new site software, us bashing away at our keyboards checking that it all works, ready for the site to go live tomorrow evening. Which means we'll be in tomorrow as well: with luck, you can read this on Sunday evening even if you're not a member of our hard-working beta team. And with a bit more luck, I'll remember to delete all the test stories I've filed, not every one of which upholds the finest standards of ZDNet UK.
Shame to see the one about the space corgies go, though.
It's good experience for us editorial types, more used to reporting and commenting on other people's software projects. With the end in sight of a very long project, we all have our own opinions about how the design, implementation and deployment phases went - and how we could have managed it better. There's no shortage of things to say.
And while the site will run and run, it's interesting to wonder what will happen to all the experiences we've had in making it. Rarely documented, such things soon become corporate folklore - and all the time and effort spent making valuable mistakes, and getting it right, will dissipate.
It would be nice to find a way to document it while it's happening. Perhaps HR can hire an internal journalist to go around a cycle of decision makers throughout a project, asking them what's happening, what they hope to happen and what they think of the show so far. Then, immediately a project was finished, a report of how it went could be circulated - and kept as part of the company resources for others to consult subsequently.
I know this happened in the US Navy in WW2, where the commanders of each ship involved in an action were asked very soon after the event for their opinions - and the resultant briefing paper quickly sent out to those who needed to know. In terms of planning, resource allocation and strategic thinking, any deficits due to subjectivty were hugely overwhelmed by the advantages of capturing the lessons learned at their freshest.