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Re: [FT] Military Overcharging

From: "bbell1@i..." <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 08:07:29 -0400
Subject: Re: [FT] Military Overcharging


Specificaitons are amazing things.

I was tasked to document a program (that had no documentation internal
or external). Originally I was to use a Milspec standard. Then a
different standard, then an IEEE standard (12207), then a combination,
then back to IEEE. After 6 months they decided on IEEE.

They decided that they wanted "everything specified in the
specification". The standard, itself, was over 200 pages (in 3 parts). 

I got about 1/10th the way into the specification and realized that it
was going to be massive. I took a sample for one procedure (over 2
pages) to the government contact and expalined that the finished
document would be well over 1000 pages. I asked if they really wanted it
done in the style and method they described. They indicated that they
did. So I finished the document. 

You should have seen the jaws drop when I delievered the first draft
topping 1700 pages (10 copies, because they all insisted on paper copies
to make revisions rather than editing electronic copies or just printing
the pages that needed editing and marking those up).

At the next review meeting, they started to go through the document LINE
BY LINE! Looking to see if the technical aspects were correct? No.
Getting into arguments as to whether the term "Associate" applied to
government, military and contract workers or just to government and
military. Arrrghhh!!!! After weeks of meetings and revisions, I am ready
to have it signed off. And then they decide that they will never get it
past the review committiee because it is too big. Arrrgghhhh! They
wanted me to split the docuemnt and place most of the detail into the
source code comment blocks. 

Another time (doing Y2K stuff), I needed to make an inventory of the
commercial software on location, so that vendor statements of Y2K
compliace could be obtained. It took me 3 months to gain access to a
storeroom that had -ZERO- classified or sensitive material. All due to
turf wars.

On another job (selling office supplies), we had to spend hours and
hours obtaining hazardous chemical statements for each of the items we
sold to the local city government. And we could not keep them on file
for any lenght of time. They required time/date-stamped versions of the
statements EACH QUARTER! If the date was from the previous quarter, it
would not be accepted. We had to obtain statements for thousands of
items each quarter so that the date on the top of the faxed statement
would be in the correct quarter.


Again working with the government and/or military is a whole other

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