It was a simple enough request from the new Supply Chain director : "Can you program email alerts on the custom object you've built for the department so I know when I need to act on things?"
Simple, I thought, after-all this is a standard workflow process feature in Salesforce. 15 minutes, I reckon, and I'll be back on my other projects.
Except this task, like many others, have turned into a project. To put it simply, there were many outstanding feature requests about this custom object that I couldn't implement before, purely because I lack the Visualforce knowledge. But now that I do, it seems logical to get it all done in one shot... I briefly counted the time I needed to implement those changes... 4 hours max: Custom child object, page layout changes, record type changes, workflow process addition / changes, field updates, and a Visualforce email template... No biggie, half day worth of work won't put me behind on other projects...
Fast forward 2 days later I am hosting training session with end-users, finalizing step-by-step documentations, all the while getting trained on international logistics so I can further automate the process. It wasn't the changes that sink me, it was my lack of knowledge to "count the cost"... I had the technical and analytical knowledge to make the changes happen, not so much on estimating post-launch on-boarding and support.
Moral of the story? Learn how to count the cost when it comes to projects like this, and make sure to include post-launch user support, training, and additional buffer so the project doesn't take on a life of its own and starts to own you.