Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Destroying Domino in an organization without even trying

Business partners especially should read this post. I have had some discussions in the last days which lead me to question client's motivations.

Sometimes we are too smart for our own good or too ambitious.

This happens more than you think too IMHO.

Let's say a manager from a company which you have or have not worked with locates you as a local business partner out of the blue. They are a Lotus shop but are having some issues, server failures, mail problems, add your own ideas as well. Sure I live on referrals like everyone else, but sometimes my websites bring me clients and who am I to turn down projects?

Can we help them? Do an audit/health check and then present resolutions and manage those changes afterwards. Sure, done it many times.

Yes, you agree it sounds very good and off you go to write a proposal and get set for your week of inspection and meetings.

Now, and let's play devil's advocate here, what if this manager really does not like Domino? How would you know? He claims to want to help, knows the past histroy and wants people to be happy, claims his people are great. Sounds good, but, what if...he is really asking for the dirt to show the CIO and get Domino tossed?!

A serious issue now arises. Do you paint the report so it sounds okay but could be better or do you really dig deep and find 101 problems because it gives you a good project and provides revenue and 6 months of people on site, but may deep six the client as a Lotus shop?

Most people dig deep but (hopefully) sugar coat the report just in case so it looks like it could be helped but it's not in dire need.

But what if this is all wasted time? The manager runs to the CIO and pleads to save him from Domino and go to Exchange where he will live a quiet and peaceful life (for the next 10 months until he gets promoted and it is someone else's problem).

Cynical you say? Without proof it is hard to justify, but the proof may come too late and I don't want to see this happen, not to me, or my clients, or yours.

I am not sure the manager is lying, but I know some history and it is possible in this case I should be wary.

So, what would you do in this case? I know what I will do, but the feedback may bring me an idea or thought which could be helpful.