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True – only the voters (and the Grim Reaper) have the power to oust the incumbent. The rest of us can, Unit by Unit, oust the voters - but that's a long process. So for the BoD members (if any) who, as most elected politicians, have the prime objective of preserving their incumbency, the electorate to whom they listen are first and foremost the Unit Board members.
Jan. 8, 2015
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No problem downloading here; Windows Defender found no virus or malware, and it seems to have installed correctly as well.

Next Monday's evening club game will give me personal reassurance; this weekend's local Sectional will come first and reassure every bridge player in the area.
Jan. 7, 2015
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Hi Greg,

It's the CEO's Technology Committee “outsider” members and those with proven records in bridge and bridge-related software who are the main reason I (and I presume most of us posting skeptically and cautiously here) have any hope at all for any success (i.e. real change) from the process you are about to begin. That's at least you, Uday, and Jay. To the extent that you guys can “make it happen,” we're sure that you will. What extent that is, we're unsure of.

See what happens if, at the first formal face-to-face meeting of the CEO's Technology Committee, you place a pocket voice recorder on the table and turn it on . . . the reaction of the others and especially the Committee Chairman, will give you a good clue of the atmosphere in which the CEO's Technology Committee will be doing its work.

Sorry I didn't get to greet you and Adam at the North Charleston Regional. I did want to pass on a few words of both thanks and encouragement.
Jan. 7, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Jan. 11, 2015
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If the CEO wants the CEO's Technology Committee deliberations and decisions and recommendations to be closed until the final report is released, and all of the outsiders and all of the “we want an open process” members like Greg quit in response, then the CEO's Technology Committee will have closed deliberations, decisions, and recommendations until their final report is released. And for all we know, that report will be released only to the CEO himself.

I don't think that's what we really want, Greg . . .

And why, pray tell, would ANY item be explicitly confidential? What does ACBL IT have to hide from ACBL members? Who decides that any particular item is explicitly confidential in/to the CEO's Technology Committee? I would not bet, no matter how favorable the odds are, on that answer being anything except “Committee Chairman/CEO.”
Jan. 7, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Jan. 7, 2015
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Lopo's vacation is over.
Jan. 7, 2015
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Doug Grove may be the only one who tests ACBLscore changes! And that's an in-the-field test, not an in-house test. It wouldn't have been released as is if Lopushinsky had tested it first.
Jan. 7, 2015
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Your second paragraph has the key question, Jonathan.

I'm sure that even the CEO's Technology Committee will make appropriate recommendations here, but totally unsure that we will ever see those recommendations or that ACBL IT Department will embrace and attempt to implement them or that the “culture change” required will happen in the ACBL IT department's employee ranks.
Jan. 7, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Jan. 7, 2015
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Larry and Kevin L,

The maker and withdrawer of the BoD motion is Rich DeMartino of District 25. He says in his Providence report at http://nebridge.org/media/userdocs/2014/12/10/December_2014_Report.pdf:

“I submitted a motion that recommended we stop work on updating the old system and conduct an independent review by outside Systems experts to evaluate the decision and to decide how best to move forward. When I learned of the plan described below, I chose to withdraw my motion.
”The proposed plan is to have a committee evaluate the current ACBL Score plan both to determine whether enhancing the existing ACBL Score is viable and, if so, to evaluate the work planned for 2015. The Committee will have three Board Members, including Jay Whipple, three members from ACBL Staff and three outside systems experts (bridge players). Jay assures me the three outside systems experts selected will be outstanding and he further assures me he is confident the group is fully capable of carrying out the task assigned."

I have no idea why he withdrew the motion, but any of you interested Bridge Winners posters on this thread who know him, feel free to ask him and post his reply! He's a member here, he may see this . . .
Jan. 7, 2015
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This topic ties in with the previous articles about ACBLscore, ACBLscore+/Bridgescore+, and ACBL's IT department. Crack investigative reporter Adam Parrish brings to light the current practices of ACBL's IT staff in pre-release software testing, and ACBL IT department's non-Lopushinsky rapid-response software maintenance abilities.

We should expect some discussion of this incident and what it shows about ACBL IT department, when the much-discussed-on-Bridge-Winners CEO's Technology Committee holds its first meeting. Greg Humphreys, Adam's partner at the Charleston Regional, is presumably at least as well-informed as Adam about the situation, and will sit on the CEO's Technology Committee when it sits. Will we – or the Board of Directors – or even ACBL President Suzi Subeck – be informed of the CEO's Technology Committee's agenda and deliberations abd reports? Time will tell.

As for Doug Grove, the one person who actually did test the software, I know of no more conscientious and knowledgable and hard-working Tournament Director. I met him ten years ago at the Keohane Individual Regional in Newton MA, two years before I got serious about my own bridge-playing. He has always been present at my local (Washington DC area) Sectionals and Regionals, and at most of the tournaments I've played in from Hilton Head and Atlanta and Gatliburg in the south through Saratoga Springs in the north, often as Director-in-Charge. Alas, he is retiring by the end of this month.
Jan. 7, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Jan. 7, 2015
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Newton MA Keohane Individual Regional results included: one section (15 tables) Saturday, one section (13 tables) Sunday.

How sad!

Any comments from any of the participants at the Regional, whether or not you played \any Individual sessions?
Jan. 6, 2015
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Larry,

The maker and withdrawer of the BoD motion is Rich DeMartino, a Bridge Winners member who has never posted here (may have commented?). You can message him here to ask why he withdrew the motion, or read his report (link above) to see what he has already said on the subject.
Jan. 6, 2015
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Greg,

The maker and withdrawer of the BoD motion is Rich DeMartino of District 25. He says in his Providence report at http://nebridge.org/media/userdocs/2014/12/10/December_2014_Report.pdf:

“I submitted a motion that recommended we stop work on updating the old system and conduct an independent review by outside Systems experts to evaluate the decision and to decide how best to move forward. When I learned of the plan described below, I chose to withdraw my motion.
”The proposed plan is to have a committee evaluate the current ACBL Score plan both to determine whether enhancing the existing ACBL Score is viable and, if so, to evaluate the work planned for 2015. The Committee will have three Board Members, including Jay Whipple, three members from ACBL Staff and three outside systems experts (bridge players). Jay assures me the three outside systems experts selected will be outstanding and he further assures me he is confident the group is fully capable of carrying out the task assigned."

I have no idea why he withdrew the motion, but any of you interested Bridge Winners posters on this thread who know him, feel free to ask him and post his reply! He's a member here, he may see this . . .
Jan. 6, 2015
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Hi Nic,

Thanks for prompt response. So now it looks as if six of ten have been involved in some way before, and the previous work of BoD members Merlin and Russ on the April-June (somewhere in there) committee that recommended throwing away ACBLScore+ may have given them a bias to support/defend that committee's decision. That would stack the deck firmly against any possible resurrection of ACBLScore+ and in favor of continuing enhancements on ACBLScore – as otherwise ACBL has thrown $$ away on ACBLScore+ and now on ACBLScore enhancements as well.

If ACBL's CEO wants to quash negative actions, and feels on trial for his decsions, appointing himself as chief judge and stacking the jury gives him a good chance of being found not guilty. Let's hope that's not his outlook or his motive for forming the Technology Committee.

As the Technology Committee is now “the only game in town,” we on the outside mourn Jeff Johnston, and then wait to see what we are allowed to learn of what the Committee will be doing.
Dec. 31, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Jan. 6, 2015
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Names, please, Nic!
Dec. 31, 2014
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Kevin L,

Yes, what the Technology Committee says is important and can be of great use. My point was that what the Technology Committee says is of no use if its recommendations are ignored or cast aside.
Dec. 31, 2014
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Greg,

Are you at liberty to share the details of the Technology Committee's full charge, including to whom and when it reports, and how widely the record(s) of its proceedings may be disseminated, or are those topics forbidden from public knowledge at this time?
Dec. 31, 2014
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Third paragraph of Adam Parrish's article (see top of page):

ACBL CEO Robert Hartman announced the formation of a Technology Committee, chaired by him and composed of three members of the BOD, three members of management, and three outside experts. A preliminary composition of the committee was announced in Providence; it appears to have now been finalized. The three board members on the committee are Jay Whipple (District 9), Russ Jones (District 10), and Merlin Vilhauer (District 20), unquestionably the three most technically knowledgeable members of the BOD. The outside experts are Greg Humphreys of Bridge Winners, Uday Ivatury of Bridge Base Online, and Ralph Lipe, a former system architect at Microsoft. The members of the committee from management are Tony Lin, a consultant brought in this year, Ken Horwedel, the project manager on the ACBLscore update, and Bruce Knoll, the ACBL's Director of Information Technology. The committee's mandate is broader than just evaluating ACBLscore; it will assess and advise on all technology decisions. The committee (as it existed at the time–not all of the positions were then filled) met in Providence, and they are scheduled to travel to Horn Lake in early January for a hands-on assessment of current operations.
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So it's the CEO, three of his employees/consultants, and six not directly beholden to him. Six of ten presumably independent.

But what can they do? “Assess and advise on all technology decisions.” No power there – absolutely none. (As the CEO would probably say, “Entirely appropriate.” – and many would agree with him, from an organizational viewpoint.) Clearly the Technology Committee is nothing like a Special Prosecutor with power to bring charges. As others have said, “Don't expect much.”

Will this Technology Committee be open? Transparent? Able and willing to speak to ACBL-land (including the President and the entire Board of Directors) and not just to the CEO? . . . we wait and see; they start Monday January 5.
Dec. 30, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Dec. 30, 2014
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Larry,

The Technology Committee is headed by the CEO and has no power to do anything and nothing in writing (as far as I know) about anything about it. We all await Monday's meeting. I hope the question is WHEN, not IF, we learn what has taken place and how the Committee will work.

It doesn't matter what the Technology Committee recommends, or to whom it makes its recommendations. What matters is what ACBL does to do what is best for its members, specifically for purposes of this discussion, in the IT arena.

We can all hope for effective guidance from the Committee, in an open and transparent process, and appropriate action from ACBL management in accepting and acting on the recommendations. The Board of Directors seems to be out of the loop on this occasion; that may change depending on the CEO's decisions, the actions of Committee and BoD members Jay Whipple, Russ Jones, and Merlin Vilhauer, or the BoD's actions leading up to and at its New Orleans or Chicago meetings.
Dec. 30, 2014
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Brilliant move by the CEO! Seeing how the match was going, he pre-empted “One CEO's Technology Committee” – and the BoD passed, ending the auction.

Now we will see how he plays the hand, and whether the results will be favorable for ACBL members and ACBL TD's and ACBL's IT Department and ACBL's finances, as well as for the CEO.

If there is no adversarial relationship, that outcome is possible . . . but if the relationship between active, concerned, vocal members and the CEO becomes adversarial, then we suffer until this hand is over and see what the next hand, to be played out in New Orleans (or later if the CEO's Technology Committee is slow in reporting), brings to the table.
Dec. 30, 2014
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Hi JoAnn,

I cannot find the text of the Technology Committee motion on-line, but I believe the Committee can only evaluate and recommend and has NO AUTHORITY TO OVERTURN anything.

I believe we all want the Technology Committee to usher ACBL IT into the twenty-first century. With the current composition of the Committee, that will have to start with intra-committee dynamics. Non-Committee members (us) pushing for Committee membership and especially Chair changes will not contribute in any way to the smooth functioning of the Committee.

Do you want BridgeScore+ to be embraced and finished and used by ACBL? Then your route is to go to your District and ask them to use it at their Regional tournaments. I believe Nic Hammond has offered the product, with his personal on-site support, to any District requesting it, at no cost.

What's in it for your District? Paying less for ACBL Tournament Directors (according to Mr Hammond, fewer are required for KOs and Swiss teams, anyway), making working TD's life easier, and enhancing the playing experience of the players (faster pairings and table assignments, projected rather than racked for much easier visibility).

The more BoD members who see the product in action, the more BoD members who will realize how illogical it is for ACBL to pay (relatively) big bucks to “re-invent the wheel” when ACBL already has license to use (most of) the code. Is your District's BoD member so exposed and educated?

This is what I will suggest to my District.



Dec. 29, 2014
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