I'm providing project management consultancy for another major IT project at a financial institution at the moment. We're in the middle of all that testing that happens before a system goes live - operational acceptance testing, user acceptance testing, performance testing, stress testing, security testing... the list goes on. There's a lot of work and a lot of attention to detail. I guess it's the kind of thing that could be challenged from a budgetary perspective - just what is the cost/benefit analysis? - do other industries pay as much attention to detail?
I got home from holiday the other day to find that my car battery was flat - the radio had stopped working the day before I'd headed off so I guess it must have drained the battery while I was gone. I got the car jump started and the roadside assistance guy suggested driving for a while to get some charge into the battery.
From the get-go the car was in survival state and to start with it was a bit worrying. The warning lights were initially flashing like a Christmas tree but as some charge was gained they started to go out. But they weren't going out in any random order. Somebody had through about it. And somebody had made sure that it worked just the way it should.
The design objective was obviously survival - of the driver. So when I turned on the headlights the speedo stopped working - it's more important to see where your going than know how fast you're driving through the darkness. When I tried the electric windows, they stopped to conserve power, same with the rear de-mist. The air bag was more important than the heater...
So now I know, when it comes to using available power, my car has been built and tested to be just as smart at the flight control team and crew of Apollo13. And that was by design.
Labels: car, design, project management, safety, test, use cases