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The story is about a dot.com, Verde, that enlisted the help of a eCommerce
consultants, Scient. Sceient is famous for having these rigid, unflappable
processes and methodologies for developing sites. They sell this as a way to be
more efficient and responsive to customer needs.
In the case of Verde, Scient used their process obsession as merely a way to
extract more billable time from the client.
There are a few choice paragraphs that show how detrimental a huge process can
be when you have morons implementing it.
"But from Verde's perspective, the project was hardly successful. And according
to several people who worked on the project, Scient was a less-than-ideal
partner. The company is known for what it calls the Scient Approach?, an
intricate and comprehensive set of methodologies and deliverables that
supposedly enables all of the company's employees to build world-class
eBusinesses in efficient fashion. But people who worked on the project say the
Scient Approach? has its negative aspects.
According to Verde staffers, Scient's reliance upon its Approach? made even the
small changes all but impossible to implement. Eventually, they grew so fed up
with Scient's mechanical adherence to its rigid apparatus of methodologies,
"innovation frameworks," and "intellectual capital assets" that they confronted
their Scient engagement manager. They told the engagement manager that they
were spending too much time listening to him explain the Scient process, and
not enough time explaining their concerns about the project to him. Instead of
lectures on understanding Scient's process, they simply wanted to know what was
working and what was not working, and what Scient's expectations were at that
point for deliverables.
The Scient engagement manager's take on all this? In an email that another
Scient employee accidentally forwarded to Verde's staff as well as Scient's, he
drafted the following action plan: "This may sound weird, but it's a request.
>From this point forward, let's try to not use the word 'Process' when talking
with any member of Verde. A number of their associates do not like the word and
it has a very negative connotation with them..."
Ultimately, the company, Verde went under. The article points out that it
really was Verde's problem for not having the spine to stand up to Scient and
their incessant process pounding.
There are some similar examples noted in the article.
For all those that say dot.coms are failing because they don't implement good
processes - well here is one that failed because it DID implement a process. It
also shows that process without leadership, control, and focus is useless and
dangerous. Verde handed over its firm to these process freaks and would have
done a lot better to just "do it all by hand."
So next time you're angry that your managers won't accept your internationally
recognized technical documentation process methodology - it might be because
they read this story and realized what a waste of time processes are.
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