As the bringers of the new Architecture, we would get assigned to projects around DHL that say (or are told) that it will use the new way. The PMs would initially be happy, looking at us as another resource for their project. The shine would rub off when we recommended using the new methods to plan the project, especially if the PM had already built a plan. The other team members might get on board or, if the new way was very different from what they had been doing, they might resist. Eventually heated discussions would ensue, long conference calls, at odd hours depending where in the world the project team was.
The usual issue was the iterative aspect of the new architecture, which PMs or higher ups would be uncomfortable with because they wanted a completion date while we were looking to time-box the work and deliver what could be done in that time. Once during an all-hands IT meeting (DHL Systems and DHL USA), one of our key people raised a question about adoption of the architecture, and the senior guy in the room said iteration was never going to work in the real world. A sign of things to come…
The other angle in all this was that our Director actually reported to a VP in DHL central systems in London, U.K. This did mean that we would travel there and back on occasion. Having not been to the UK for decades, it was nice bonus, visited a few spots of interest; dropped over to Brussels once where DHL is actually headquartered, but all I saw was the airport, hotel and the office. The atmosphere in both locations was thoroughly byzantine, highly political, people jostling for position, you never knew when something you said might be turned around and used to bite you…didn’t happen to me but I saw it happen to others. The “Architecture” was often at the center of all this.
The thing was, though, the people I worked with in ATP are among the finest, smartest people I have ever known, so going to work was still great even with all the outside issues.
Quick aside: DHL was in the news a while back, and I know how it started. Back in 2000, DHL had no internal USA business to speak of; DHL was known rightly for being international. It also had a stupid way of measuring how it made money. Each country had its own DHL Corporation. Each one made money on shipments originating in its country, but got nothing for delivering shipments sent to their country, The USA got way more shipments sent to it than were sent out, so it always ‘lost money’, so whoever was running DHL USA looked bad. When I had this explained to me for the first time, I just could not believe it. I have to think that US management complained about this, but it wasn’t going to change.
So instead of more fairly reporting the real profits, DHL decided it would get into the domestic shipping business up against Fedex and UPS. They bought the smaller player Airborne Express, and then you started seeing yellow DHL trucks on the roads.
Well, seems to have not worked as DHL has announced it is getting out of US domestic shipping, going back to their focus on international shipping; hope they fixed their income reporting.