It’s Spring and that means that it is time for the annual Corporate Softball Tournament and Beer Bust. As in previous years, every NQP department played against their counterparts from other area corporations. And as in previous years, every NQP team was victorious. While technically the only NQP team to actually score any runs was the Shipping and Receiving team, each of the other departments was able to triumph in their own unique way as reported below.
LEGAL – The Legal department failed to score any runs and, in fact, did not even show up for their games. They were, however, successful in filing an injunction declaring the “official” results to be invalid based on their claim that the process of “running the bases” was their intellectual property and other teams using this process were in violation of the NQP Legal patent. As if this victory was not sweet enough, they also played hard ball when several of the other teams posted videos on YouTube which they alleged showed them to be the true winners. Our legal team promptly filed a series of lawsuits claiming that their opponents’ actions were a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The subsequent take-down orders caused eight of our competitors to have to shut down their corporate websites given they had placed links to the YouTube videos on their internal pages.
ACCOUNTING – Our stalwart men and women from Accounting and Finance did show up promptly for each of their games, but like the Legal team, they failed to put any points on the board. Fortunately, they had anticipated this and had worked in the off-season to accrue points in several of our off-shore locations and moved those points to the US in time for the season here. In addition, they were able to recognize and report scores for several games that will be played next year. As a result, the non-GAAP results for each game they played were recorded as “NQP-40, Competition-0.” Their spokesman made this statement at the conclusion of the tournament, “Given that our auditing firm was with us on the field and is getting shared credit for the victory, we feel strongly that these results will withstand any examination during our upcoming corporate audit.”
MARKETING – It what is now a familiar litany, the Marketing team was successful this season in spite of the impression left by the scoreboard. Preparation for the season had begun months ago. Learning that the games would all be played outside, the Director of Marketing engaged several of the best outside consulting firms.Working together, they were able to completely rebrand the marketing team. A new color scheme was chosen for the uniforms. All of the player’s numbers were displayed using a new font (exclusively developed by yet another outside firm). The new font will scale for use on both the front and the back of the uniforms. This will ensure visibility in day and night games. Finally, the most crucial piece was the declaration that 2013 was the “Year of the Fan.” A spokesperson for the department said, “We are 110% behind this campaign to make 2013 the Year of the Fan. We have put all our wood behind this one arrow and pulled our goalie to make this a knock-out blow to the competition Any time spent on scoring runs would detract from this focus.”
TOTAL QUALITY CONTROL – The Quality Team had a great year. All one hundred and sixty-seven of their Critical Few quality measures met or exceeded their Six Sigma goals. This included – % of time the batter was within the batter’s box, % of swings in which the arc of the bat was within tolerances, % of pitches with a speed greater than 49 mph and less than 53 mph, etc. Since the number of runs per game is a one or two digit integer, it could not be used with the Quality department’s statistical analysis package which does not handle nonparametric data. At any rate, the number of runs was not one of the Critical Few and was not recorded.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT – The R&D team created a software model of the game of softball and ran countless simulations to determine the optimal strategies for both training for and then playing the game of softball. The next step was to create a “virtual coach” by programming a heuristic evaluation function which could make decisions based on any in-game situation. Running further simulations the R&D team concluded that their design met or exceeded all of its original objectives and they saw no need to go to the expense and inconvenience of real-world field tests.
CUSTOMER SERVICE – The Customer Service team was unable to be physically present given their geographic locations in several third-world countries. This team was able to emerge victorious in spite of having problems understanding the mechanics of baseball which they consistently translated into the near-equivalent mechanics of cricket and/or soccer. While taking the brunt of fans’ complaints about other teams, the Customer Service team continually let the fans know that their calls were important to us and we would be resolving their problem shortly if they could just hang on the line while we look up the number on their ticket stub.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT – While this group did not have enough members to fill a nine-person roster, they did manage to meet all of their budget goals and milestone events and thus ensured a victorious year. Like the Quality team, they were not aware that “runs” were a valid measure and failed to note them.
MANUFACTURING – After several unsuccessful seasons in the past, the manufacturing team pulled out of the US Corporate league and moved to China. Their spokesperson cited past difficulties in following the game plan given to them by R&D. In addition, the Quality team was constantly stopping the game play to help them with their metrics, and the Project Managers kept calling timeouts to have meetings in the dugout. Since the move, this team is once again on top and the players report that they are very happy with their playing conditions and actually enjoy playing three games each day as well as extra innings when necessary.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS & OFFICERS – While the top management of NotQuiteProfitable.com did not field a team, they did take credit and reported all of the victories in their quarterly update to the fans. As anticipated in the annual report, they announced that they would be right-sizing all of the department’s teams to improve the “points per employee” and thus enhance fan value in the future.
SHIPPING & RECEIVING – Sometimes criticized for their reliance on traditional methods, the Shipping & Receiving team won every game they played by simply scoring more runs than the other team. Their spokesperson could not be reached for comment as they all went to the corner pub after the keg ran out at the softball field.
Additional material follows in NQP Softball – HR Followup.
Footnotes: (because they would not have made this feature if they didn't want us to use them)
Now don't you feel smarter after reading this footnote?