Monday, November 17, 2008

The art of compromise

As a consultant you must remember that you cannot be right all of the time and rarely if ever will you be able to do things your way. In fact you must do things the way that the client wants – period because your role is to service their need, not for them to service yours.

Let me use an example – suppose you are designing a security system. The ideal system will cost $20K but the budget including labor is $15K. What you must do is work with the client to give them what they want within the constraints provided while working to make sure any key potential security gaps are closed as much as possible under the limitations provided.

Sure you could push for what you want and the full $20K system but if you were smart you would design the system such that you left room for it to expand to the ideal system with only the installation of new cameras and the configuration of the DVR and multiplexer if coax or the IP cameras and recording software if network based. The mistake so many make is thinking my way is the only way and if I do not do this they are wrong and it cannot work – they think in absolutes which causes them to crash and burn. Have seen many companies blow past me in revenue then go back the other way. Sure you can make quick money, sure you can do it all your way, sure you can be right all of the time, but rest assured you will be out of business soon enough with that attitude.

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