Harvey Saying #2

"People get the systems they deserve."

Most people complain about the systems they have. They are too slow, they are too old, they are not integrated, they don’t meet our needs, they are too restricted in their capabilities or they are too difficult to use easily.

While all this is true, many people select systems based on the things they think they need, new gee-whiz features that they don’t need, when basic simply functionality will do. Hgellman_1

  1. mip Reply

    I agree with you. I was just saying that the root cause isn’t just feature-creep. You’re right, it is a process of really understanding their requirements and then helping them to understand them in relation to technology options/solutions. From my experience, I’ve come to see that there are always a variety of solutions that can be leveraged to meet the business requirements. As a consultants, it is our job, as you indicate, to help clients get to the level of understanding you referenced, but, it is also our responsibility to help them find the best fit in terms of tech, even if it’s not the ultimate end goal (i.e., get there in phase recognizing their current business realities).

  2. Stephen Reply

    Very true. But as Jim used to say “you can’t push on a rope”.
    ie. The client will never do what they are not ready to do, so as consultants it is our responsibility to help them come to the point of understanding, acceptance and ownership. I will get Jim to do a post on this for next week’s Jim and Harvey sayings.

  3. mip Reply

    I agree people get the systems they deserve but not just because they selected something with a gee-whiz-wow-oh-wow set of features.
    I think the root of the problem is in lack of strategy and understanding the requirements that drive that strategy. Once you fully understand your requirements (and limitations like change management, budget, time) then you can effectively assess systems to meet the needs of solutions. Too many times I’ve seen clients and various originizations try and short curcuit the process for whatever reason (i.e., need it done fast…don’t have the time to plan, need it done cheaply…don’t have the budget) only to be unhappy with what gets put in place. The funny thing is that there never seems to be enough time (or dollars, or people, or whatever) to do it right, but always plenty to do it over again.

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