Monday, August 15, 2005

An Analogy

Them: "How much does it cost to build a building? We need to know so we can ask for a budget."
Me: "What kind of building do you want?"
Them: "I'm not sure. Come up with something that makes sense."
Me: "Okay, we'll build this type of building (insert requirements) and it will cost $5M."
Them: "That's too much. It needs to cost less."
Me: "Okay, what don't you want in the building?"
Them: "I want it all. It just needs to cost less."
Me: "Well I can probably cut some of the requirements and get it down to $4M."
Them: "That's still too high. We'll just ask for $2M."

A month goes by:
Them: "Okay, here's your $1M to build the building."
Me: "Um, thanks. But we need to re-plan since that's less that what we said it would cost."
Them: "Just develop a plan and get going. We need this right away."
Me: "Um, okay."

Another month goes by:
Me: "We're on track for the building. It will have 5 floors and will be an office building."
Them: "Does it have a cafeteria?"
Me: "Um, no. We didn't plan on a cafeteria."
Them: "It needs to have a cafeteria."
Me: "Is there additional funding for a cafeteria?"
Them: "No."
Me: "Okay, I'll see what I can do."

Another month goes by:
Me: "We're on track for the building. It will have 4 floors and have a cafeteria."
Them: "I thought you said it was going to have 5 floors."
Me: "I needed to work in the cafeteria, so we lost the 5th floor."
Them: "Who told you to do that? Who made that decision?"
Me: "I guess I did. I was told there was a requirement for a cafeteria."
Them: "Well that was the wrong decision."
Me: "What should we have not done so we could do the cafeteria within the budget."
Them: "You should have done everything and the cafeteria."
Me: "Ummm???"

Another month goes by:
Them: "We're going to be using the building as an apartment building. Does it meet all of the housing codes?"
Me: "Well we built it to be an office building."
Them: "But we want to use it as an apartment building. Will it pass all of the housing codes and inspections?"
Me: "It will pass code for an office building, but I'll need to check on the housing code."
Them: "What will it take to change it to meet code?"
Me: "I'm not sure. I need to check. But we're in the final stages of the building, so if we make changes it's going to effect the schedule and there will be additional cost."
Them: "No we need this building on schedule as an apartment building and there is no more funding."
Me: "Umm, okay, even if I can make some changes to pass the housing code, it's a 2 month wait for housing inspectors, so it won't be ready by the original due date."
Them: "Well your failure to deliver this building on time will look bad on your past performance history."
Me: "Ummm??"


At 8:41 PM, Blogger d.K. said...

Is this a true story? I know you called it an "analogy" so I'm assuming the "building" was another deliverable, but the clients seem crazy... And if true, you must have the patience of Job and an unbelievable calm...


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