It happens to everyone.
You are a developer or project manager, and the customer or stakeholders ask you how to save some money.
You should feel tingling in your spider-sense, as this will often cause you more pain than it is worth.
Get the full perspective
You must weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Unfortunately, humans are not good at estimating the short-term effects of our immediate environment, but we are terrible at predicting what long-term consequences may occur in areas that we don’t deal with as much.
It’s easy to get caught up in the trap of trying to cut corners on your project. Instead of changing your plans, you end up adopting a plan that feels good at the moment. Change is okay and new information should be incorporated into your plans and approaches as you move through projects. I mean that you are trying to get by, or “get by for now”, in the hope that things will turn out well in the end.
One of the reasons I love working with agile and lean processes, is their focus on perspective. Daily stand-up meetings, frequent releases, feedback, user stories all of these things help foster a greater perspective on the functionality being developed, especially when it is changing mid-stream and being capable of assessing the impact.
No matter what process you use, ensure that you have a complete view. If you make decisions without considering the impact on other interfacing systems, maintenance cost, scalability, scalability, flexibility, and maintenance time, then you are making a mistake.
Sometimes your team and you know the right approach, but your customers and end users don’t. Sometimes, the customer doesn’t want a half [email protected]$$#& product because of corner-cutting. It’s crazy, I know… but it happens. ?As a project manager, you sometimes have to educate your customers about what is best for them.
An old project that I worked on was to improve the reporting systems in an MIS department. What I found was that analysts were spending more time copying and pasting data than they were doing analysis. Many of them had been in the same job for over 20 years.
Here I come, a project Cowboy who wants to disrupt their world.
They were not willing to cut corners or do enough to make ends meet. They continued to create new processes using duct-tape, chewing gum, and new data sources as they received them. People couldn’t get sick because everyone knew their little ‘niche of processes. They felt safe and needed in their roles but were hampered by the chains of their own making so that they couldn’t really add any real value to the company.
To combat such an issue, you must take a step back and assess what will add real value to the organization. Then, go do it right. Cutting corners does not create value. It leads to slow deterioration and hidden costs that will eventually kill the organization from the inside.
I spent a lot of time convincing and showing the end users and their managers that I wasn’t automating their jobs… but we were empowering them. ?Actual analysis work. It was a lot more than just a demonstration for me and my colleagues. Slowly, we helped them to see a vision of how it could be.
I can still recall the first time an analyst discovered a problem at a site using data mining and real analysis work to discover a pattern that no one else could see. This veteran who was so determined to resist any change from the beginning. ?She was the hardest to sell. She kept insisting that she didn’t need any functionality because she had a tried-and true method.
It happens to everyone.