So today we went live with a Salesforce integration.
It was, and is, a GONG show.
Relatively simple code, an inadequate vision, and zero communication between stakeholders (safe harbour statement about the possibility of a delta between the author’s opinion and his employer’s official position on Many Things).
In my mind, it’s a combination of technical debt plus adopting a platform that just does the stuff we’re paying for in Epicor but never implemented. We - “we” - somehow came to believe in this project without a business case, and we - “we” - have a Salesforce contractor who is utterly and completely incompetent.
And that’s from me, an admittedly uneducated systems admin very aware of my high-school-only limitations.
Well, long story short and it is what it is… and maybe, our ability to pivot, adapt, adopt, change, recover, and move ahead is our biggest strength, and maybe I have a not inadequate piece of that puzzle.
But HOW DO WE STOP THIS HAPPENING AGAIN !?
In my mind, there’s a huge opportunity for small companies like ours to use technology as an accelerator. Fine.
Also fine, we have the brains on staff and the cash to do it right. So why do we keep doing projects like this, where we pursue something with no planning, no design, at the mercy of consultants who have no ability to really figure out what we need but a great ability to sell generic packages+extra hours to managers.
I don’t think I’m particularly bright and I acknowledge the fortunate advantage I have, where I can figure out the technical stuff AND adequately understand the business goals. Fine. My managers though, could and should be able to handle the flip side: figure out the business stuff and adequately understand the technical principles.
When I studied coaching, the number one takeaway was, dont let your client start planning or acting, until they have a well-defined vision. Why is that so hard? We start projects with no clear vision.
I suppose the problem is, we want results fast, faster than we’re willing to invest in planning time. Some of us have figured out that 30% front-loaded planning time is well worth it, and most of us have not.
But I’m not here to whinge about management. I believe as system administrators we have the unique ability to manipulate technology to meet the business needs of our employers better than any consultants or providers, and that’s my goal.
So, what’s missing?
I need a framework to both help managers see the opportunities and also stop them from harming themselves, able to be expressed in management terms. And usable in small companies, not just large employers who can hire a whole department of engineers and count on them to both define and execute the plan.
I’m just ranting, really; but I’m such a firm believer in genuine small business, especially privately-held family business, and I’m sure a platform like Epicor provides the opportunity to accelerate that kind of company. It’s painful to see people pursue the Shiny and the Flashy. I need some Good Words to help management do their job more betterer…
Yeh… just a rant after a 15-hour workday on the weekend. But I think there’s a fundamental small-business question here that would be worth dissecting, if only Eliyahu Goldratt were still alive.