Seasons worries

I know it’s not a new thing to happen, near the end of projects there’s always more frustration and annoyances. Time and time again I have faced the mixed feelings of despair with awe and relief of coming to the end of a project.
But to be honest, I didn’t expect this level of it at the end of an Agile project. After all, all the important things should have been finished. The business may push for some minor additions to the backlog that seem to be very important all of a sudden, but this would only be because at that time the very very important things have already been finished by then.
Well, not in this project. I know the reasons, but it is just not possible for me to “manage” around them. The regular, and I must say extremely, annoyances near the end of projects are heightened by the fact that holidays are on our doorstep.
Let me iterate some of the things that I am faced with at this moment:
– Very important interfaces have not yet been implemented due to lack of expertise in that area
– Expertise is unavailable as the interface is such a new one for the Dutch market that there just is not a big supply of experts and those that we found are so busy they won’t be available until next year.
– Our development server inexplicably crashed yesterday and our maintenance team figured they could rework it this weekend (I understand that they would think of christmas holidays as being available to them, but the team has expressed the wish to keep on developing the last details on the user stories they started on.
– The government environment is so awfully non agile they expect us to do things their way, which is fine, but today they also expected us to provide the right scripts to environments that we have no access to and in my view we are in the domain of the government teams.
– Business is not available in these weeks, as expected they have a lot of free days and the holiday season leaves us with less than a skeleton crew to work with.
….I can go on and on
We will try to deliver whatever they want in our demo next Tuesday, but I am getting more and more worried about the last sprint that will start after this one.

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