Tell tale signs that an organization will not make its commitments

The commitment

The fully functioning product which you purchased will be delivered, installed by Nov 4th and set to go the very same day.

What happened on Nov 4th?

The product was delivered in May the following year, however it had not yet been fully tested. 60% of revenue generating features were “still in the pipeline”. The client threatens to litigate although the vendor is blaming the client for “having misled us on the level of site readiness and employee skill”.

The scribbling on the wall 

No one should have been surprised because the slip was scribbled on the wall, if you just know how to read it.

Here are a few clues that will allow you to perhaps foresee the crash, albeit not prevent it.

  1. The client “over buys”, meaning he presses for a client commitment because he himself is in trouble. For example, the client needs to increase market share by 30% “or you are out of a job”.
  2. The aggressive commitment is made by shoving it down developers throats. Nay sayers are pushed aside and people with high confidence and low technical savvy take over.
  3. Employees indeed are willing to make aggressive commitments, but only like this: “when Silvan delivers his piece, and QA has signed off, and the real-time folks deliver their piece, I”m sure we can make it, even if it’s a bit challenging”.
  4. Risks, obstacles are smoothed away by fancy verbal tap-dancing. Certain things are no longer documented and status reports are cryptic and ambiguous.
  5. More people are thrown at the job, but the number of skilled people is in decline because the top professionals have left or checked out.

Even if you foresee all this shit happening, it still cannot be stopped. Often, this is the way that the particular business cycle functions and everyone is making lots of money despite this apparent insanity.

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3 thoughts on “Tell tale signs that an organization will not make its commitments

  1. And there are quacks who sell their wares as OD to such clients too. That makes for spuriousness in service quality in the industry. The lure of the lucre takes away the wall itself. The building be damned.

    The opposite is also worth noting. Slow to no commitment. The fear of losing control. And the quacks have tricks for clients ike them too. As if control is available through graphic cook books. The more animated and seductive the more clients fall prey.

    Both scenarios are normally poor signs of commitment. You could say it’s poor moral intelligence. But it’s possibly worse, if there’s no concern for ethics. That happens when neither party addresses mutuality beyond seller and buyer.

    What do you feel?

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