The Mythical Project Year

The Problem

One of the fun aspects of living in a corporate development culture is the correlation between getting a project funded and the orbital time of a small blue / green rock around a dull main sequence dwarf star [G2]. I have had, on several occasions the following conversation:

Me: I’ve had an idea for a project that will (a) solve a problem and / or (b) make us a stack of money
Middle Manager: Tell me more
Me: We could … blah blah blah …
MM: That sounds ok. Have you done the cost analysis, estimation, resource planning  etc paper work
Me: Yes, here are all the numbers
MM: Ok, that looks good. How long will it take to deliver?
Me: <Insert any time more than 365 days>
MM: It will take more than a year ?
Me: Yes.
MM: Sorry, no chance. Multiyear funding, budgets, accountants , impossible
The problem here is not with the idea, but with the time it takes a rock to orbit a star.

The Martian  Solution

The concept of the martian solution ™ is fundamentally quite simple.  Since we can’t get rid of the basic objection (A Year), or reduce the project (Its takes what it takes) then we need to change our frame of reference.

In this case, we choose a red rock instead of a blue / green rock.  This particular red rock takes 687 blue / green rock days to add up to one year.  With a deft mind shift, a whole new class of projects are suddenly viable and can get funded. This solution has a number of points in its favour.

  1. By careful choice of stellar object, you can get just about anything approved
  2. The extended time period gives plenty of opportunity to start on a green field project, enhance the CV and exit stage left before the proverbial hits the fan
  3. All accountancy staff can be ‘off shored’ to the stellar object of your choice
  4. In the case of Mars, there is no oxygen

With (3) and (4) combined, this could be viewed as a long term permanent solution to the ‘Corporate Accountant’ problem

In space no one cares if an accountant screams