Resource Mistakes, Part I

August 23, 2010
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As I continue to familiarize myself with the The MIKE2.0 Framework, one thing has become entirely apparent to me: it’s based in large part on having the right resources at the right time. In this very important sense, the MIKE2.0 Framework is the same as any other methodology for implementing new systems. In a new series of post, I’ll discuss some of the biggest mistakes that organizations make during information management projects (IM).

As I continue to familiarize myself with the The MIKE2.0 Framework, one thing has become entirely apparent to me: it’s based in large part on having the right resources at the right time. In this very important sense, the MIKE2.0 Framework is the same as any other methodology for implementing new systems. In a new series of post, I’ll discuss some of the biggest mistakes that organizations make during information management projects (IM). In this post, I’ll cover timing as it relates to allocating resources.

Hurry Up and Wait

When I’m not writing, speaking, or chasing down tennis or golf balls, I’m typically on a consulting project. Like many people, I’m a hired gun available on a first-come, first-served basis. While there are certainly exceptions, most large organizations tend to struggle locking people like me down.

Consider the following example. Back in early June of this year, a firm for which I regularly subcontract (call it BU2B here) recently submitted me for a one year project for a large new system implementation. I didn’t hear anything for two months and assumed that either the project never started or that I wasn’t chosen. C’est la vie, right?

Wrong.

Fast forward to August 17th. I get a call from a recruiter at BU2B that its client needs to talk to me–today. Forget the fact that I am on site, billing my current client. BU2B tells me that this call has to happen today. I explain that that’s just not possible but that I’ll be free on the 18th for pretty much the entire day. Long story short: it has to be the 17th, even at night. Unable to make a firm commitment with a “burning plank” deadline, I have to pass.

Of course, this begs the questions:

  • Why wait two months to find key resources for such an important project?
  • What was going to be decided at 8:30 pm on Tuesday that couldn’t be decided at 8:30 am on Wednesday?
  • Why would an organization wait two months and then give a candidate two hours? Does this seem reasonable?
  • Does an organization really think that it’s getting the right or best resource with such a tight time line?
  • If this is the way that this company operates, would I really want to get on a plane every week and go there?

Trust me. This isn’t sour grapes talking. I’m very comfortable with rejection, especially since I went to a 70 percent male college. But does this story sound familiar?

Don’t wait until the last minute to find consultants and contractors, particularly as your project approaches key dates. Follow these guidelines and you can maximize the chance of a smooth transition and minimize the chance of scurrying at the last moment:

  • Let everyone know well ahead of time when projects are supposed to begin
  • Lock down resources well before those key dates
  • Identify backups just in case stuff happens
  • If an extension is necessary for an existing resource, attempt to arrange this as early as possible. Don’t wait until Friday morning to see if a key person is available on Monday.
  • By all means, don’t complain when that resource has found another gig