The company I work for has recently undergone a profoundly dumb transformation. Years ago when management seemed to care, we had a small development team striving to move toward a more Agile, test-driven methodology, we scheduled releases based on a realistic feature-set with realistic estimates and due dates. We were on top of our game, the best in our industry, and we cared about our work.
About a year or so ago that all started to change, upper-management made a culture-altering decision, they committed to an Oracle ERP implementation with a two year time-frame for completion, without asking IT how long something of this size might take. So the date was set and the countdown clocks were installed and the "Great place to work" mentality that the company had formerly professed went straight into the toilet. Development began to receive impossible tasks, with impossible dates, and the pressure became unbearable fast. We ramped up hiring and brought on droves of contractors to fill the parking lot and the smoking tents and collect unbelievable fees. Now there is not a person left in IT that is happy about their job or excited about what they do, even the new people hate the place. Our talent has started to look elsewhere and some of our best have already started to leave. The new developers smell the discontent from a mile away and with no allegiance or roots tying them down, they don't last long. Whether the company will make it through this remains to be seen, the word on the street is that nobody has successfully implemented an ERP of this size, which encourages us to throw our hands up. It'll pass.
Honestly, when management picked that magical date out of their asses and made the decision to drive their people into the ground to achieve it, they doomed the company to certain failure or at least us to certain insanity. If nothing else, money has been wasted and years will be spent digging out of this mess, and the competition will continue to surpass us. I believe a company's success is directly dependent on it's people, and I have yet to find a person that believes this project will be a success or believes in the direction the company is heading. I'm sure we're not the first out there to do this, nor will we be the last. We've seen over and over in the corporate world that there are more DEE-DEE-DEE's everyday getting paid huge amounts of money to screw things up, this is a losing battle.
In the future don't bother to ask me how long something will take, just pull a date out of your ass and let me know when you want it D-D-D-Done.