This weekend was the weekend for doing maintenance on things, both ICT and infrastructure. And somehow, a lot suffered from big delays.
First of all, the TU Eindhovens student portal was updated this past saturday. It has been announced for over two weeks, and they did take the website down at around 9:00, as planned. However, instead of having it back up and running at 12:00 after an update, it took them till at least 16:30 to get it back to work, which just meant that you could’t do much (or anything at all) this saturday when you needed the portal.
This is especially a shame since we’re two weeks away from the exam period. This means that it’s deadline time these weeks, and that acces to the portal is really needed.
As I see it, this could have been made much more client (student) friendly, by changing a few things. First of all, the software should be working without any bugs on a test-server, and it should be able to migrate to the working server with a few clicks (and three hours or so).
I hope they did this right, but when they didn’t, or the system fails on you, it’s better to choose a less annoying time slot.
Instead of working just before the exam week, choose the weekend after these weeks. Much less people will need to access the portal, making it much less worse if it takes somewhat longer. And move the migration to the night. Start friday night at 22:00 and use the night to fix any issues.
In this way your clients won’t have the troubles if it goes wrong, making them more happy.
Lucky for them it can also get worse. A totally different project this weekend took place at the tracks between Amsterdam and Almere. They had to take out part of the tracks to prepare it for a new bridge.
Unfortunately, they managed to not have the right dimensions for some parts, meaning a delay of the works of over a day on one of the busiest train routes in the Netherlands. Right now they hope that tomorrow (tuesday) the trains will run as normal, but they only know for sure when they really do.
The only plus side for this project is that they timed it in the holiday period. There are slightly less travellers this week in this area because the schools have a autumn break.
However, as these two examples show, it is extremely important that you test and check that your project is working as it should, before implementing it. And when you come to the point of implementing, do it with the right timing. Otherwise you have a lot of disappointed customers, with all problems attached to that.
Header Image: PhilAndPam via Flickr under CC