Monday, April 17, 2006

ResultsManager! Come Home!

I've come to the conclusion that ResultsManager is a dog.

But a good kind of dog -- like a border collie.

Yeah, I'm starting to think RM is like the border collie of project management software. Just like the brilliant, hard-working and dutiful border collie, it drives the herd of unruly and stubborn projects, sub-projects and tasks that typically comprise one's universe of productivity and corrals them in a way that makes the ranch (your life) function at it's most optimum level.

Know what's interesting about border collies? You have to give them projects. Their keen little doggie minds have to be focused on something. Otherwise, the results are disastrous for the humans it owns --as you'll soon see.

There's a well-known cautionary tale about what happens when you don't keep a border collie focused.

An enterprising collie had run a sheep ranch in the Scottish farmlands for years. The human owners decided one year to take a much-deserved break.

So they got a housesitter and off they went to Fiji.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . the housesitter, a young, idealistic lass who firmly believed in animal rights, decided the overworked dog deserved a break. And from her perspective, this dog was a little four-legged slave that did all the work his masters were supposed to do.

So she barred the collie from its daily task of rounding up and tending to the sheep. Every morning she'd let the sheep out to graze on the hillsides and every night she's bang on a feed pot until they all came back home.

The dog paced and fretted in it's penned enclosure, watching in disbelieving canine horror. It was supposed to be out there rounding up those sheep! Herding them to the best grazing patches, keeping the lambs close to their mommas -- all the while guarding them from the wolves and packs of wild dogs.

And this daft Two-Leg had him penned up like one of his charges!

But he knew two things -- that his masters loved him and that he was charged with a mission. And border collies being border collies -- he was determined to fulfill his charge no matter what.

So he broke free every chance he got. Chewing through rope leashes, pulling stakes he was chained to out of the ground and tunneling under the side of the barn when she shut him in there. Soon she'd be treated to a fleeting glimpse from the kitchen widow as he hurtled up the slopes like a fur bullet -- barking orders to the herd.

This went on for weeks and she roundly cursed the animal mind control those horrible ranchers must have subjected this poor doggie to.

But one day, she won.

She put him in the electrified paddock reserved for the truculent rams. The paddock bordered the workshop and was across the barnyard on the far side of the barn.

And there he stayed. He couldn't tunnel under. He couldn't jump over and the shocks, they were designed for much heavier animals.

And he'd be laying there despondently where she could see him, looking accusingly at her in the house. Every night and morning she'd go out to feed him and he'd meet her at the gate. Soon enough, he was happily wagging his tail and barking while she fed him.

And with a smugness reserved for humans, she realized she had finally broke years of human mind control on another oppressed animal.

One day she heard a huge crash come from the far side of the workshop. She ran out to the electrified paddock, fearing the worst as she carefully killed the juice.

Curious that the little dog hadn't met her at the gate, she thought.

Rounding the corner, her eyes bugled and she was so mind-numbed by the sight that she just sat down. Hard.

The enterprising little collie, during it weeks of captivity had destroyed the entire porch that was on the field side of the workshop. It had been dismantled, board-by-board until there was nothing left of the structure save for a pile of boards stacked beside the fence -- towering over it.

And the dog? He was rocketing up the distant slopes like furred lightning, furiously barking to his dim-witted charges.

He had his project. He knew his job. And he was going to do it no matter what.

Life lessons. Doggie-style.

Nudge. Wink. Send.


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