Re: What Would Andrew Do (WWAD)

Subject: Re: What Would Andrew Do (WWAD)
From: Elna Tymes <Etymes -at- LTS -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 13:59:11 -0800

Andrew Plato wrote:

> I am sure Elna did her job. But, I am compelled to be the jerk here and
> say: but what about the other side of this coin? What about the client's
> needs? What about their concerns? What does Elna's scenario tell us about
> what a client needs?
>
> We can fortify ourselves professionally and all stand behind Elna and her
> CFH. But the fact is, we don't learn ANYTHING from closing ranks and
> assuming what we are being told is true. We learn by considering the what
> the other side is doing and trying to understand their motivations. We can
> learn by analysis of a situation.
>
> Which is why I suggested to Elna she reconsider posting such details of
> her business. Because it invites analysis. Which is good for all of us,
> but I fear it might not be good for Elna.

<snip>
Which is why it's so obvious you've never done the kind of case analysis that's the
backbone of most Biz School curricula, Andrew. There are tons of case studies done
out there (aside: if you want to make some side money, try writing up case studies
for Biz schools - they are ALWAYS in demand and always use real data which is
publicly available) and they rarely present both (or all) sides of a case. That's
the point: students (and analysts) are supposed to use the case information as a
starting point and analyze the situation based on what a smart businessperson would
do. And because no single person usually best does that kind of analysis alone,
the case study method frequently gets used in study groups.

I have no problem with people chewing over the pros and cons of what we did (or
didn't do). In fact, there's a learning process in there that's intrinsically
valuable. You say you'd need more data to come to the conclusions we did. Others
seem to disagree. As with standard business case analysis, one of the values of
the exercise is to figure out what you can tell about the whole situation based on
what information you were given. That's why informal war stories are very valuable
in this profession. While loyalty to a client is admirable, sometimes it's
short-sighted in the long run. We happen to believe that the CFH is a booby trap
waiting to hurt anyone foolish enough to work for them, and for a bunch of reasons,
only one of which is the situation we got into. For those in this business who are
thinking about taking on contracting in general, and fixed price contracts in
particular, this case study provides a cautionary tale.

> Without knowing the other side of Elna's dispute, I am forced to speculate
> and extrapolate. What I see somebody being rigid about their process. And
> rigidity is not always a good business model.

'sOK Andrew. Your glasses have gotten all fogged up with the Portland rain. No
wonder you can't see what others have.

> Call me a doormat if you will. Maybe I am too lenient with my clients.
> But, I'd rather have a peaceful conclusion to a project and get paid then
> have a catastrophe. We all run our businesses differently.

We'd rather have contracts end cleanly and amicably too. And 99.99% of ours have.
I certainly wouldn't wish the CFH on anyone else.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems


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References:
What Would Andrew Do (WWAD): From: Andrew Plato

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