Friday, February 18, 2005

Well, had the big conference call with the clients today, all went really well!! I can't remember a previous contract where I was so much 'in focus'. Normally, us contract folks do the work and a full time employee (FTE) does the actual presentations and so on. This is a nice change of pace.

It's also been a fun and rewarding gig so far. All of this 'string' work has led me to build a .Net component to house all of the various functions and tools. I may even do some work to see what interest I can stir up commercially. It passed the close scrutiny of one of the largest trade goups in the country today, and looks like I'll be on tap for the COBOL conversion process as well.

I find myself becoming less and less interested in 'small' company projects. Unfortunate really because those are often the very companies that can really benefit the most from the proper application of technology. Unfortunately, I'm finding that they don't have the patience, or willingness to devote the resources required to bring it to fruition.

I enjoy the dramatic impact a new application can have on workflow and the cost model in a smaller company. It's very rewarding to see it happen after the application is deployed. The reality however, is that for every one of them that actually gets finished, the way it was designed, there are six or more that don't.

A lot of reasons, but, the one I see as being the single largest 'failure point' is the company management not believing the total cost estimate, or, over-estimating their ability to hold costs down by 'helping'. It may be an 'business owner' thing, so used to 'making it happen' they can't envision an 'outsider' really understands how simple it all is to do.

This is my 6th large company project, and like all the others, it's not only on track, but under budget. I attribute that to excellent pre-planning, fixed goals and allowances for unexpected diversions (like this Customer file project) in the overall plan.

I'd be very happy continuing to work and make a positive contribution at this client for a long time to come!

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