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Monday, 31 March 2008 09:17

The Price of Right

Written by  Margaret Meloni
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The 'Price of Right' is the price we pay when it is more important to be right then it is to exercise tact. Is it worth it?  No, that is not an error. This entry is called ‘The Price of Right’; not to be confused with the game show, ‘The Price is Right’.
What is ‘The Price of Right’? It is that toll we pay when it is more important to be right than it is to exercise tact. What made me think of this? When I teach project management and I discuss scope creep; I usually tell a story about one of my first projects. I really wanted to get along with my customer.
I was not well versed in all of the project management bodies of knowledge. I probably did not know the term scope creep. If the customer asked for something extra, well I would just ask the team to go right ahead. I thought this was great customer service.

So let’s jump ahead to the end of the project. We came in about three weeks late. I realize now that given the changes I agreed to, this was a minor miracle.

In a wrap up meeting, I was asked ‘Why were you late?’ I replied that we had accommodated changes to the original requirements and that took more time. I knew my customer, my buddy and partner would stand by me.

WRONG. He indicated that he did not know about any changes. As far as he was concerned the product delivered was exactly per the original requirements. We were just late, because the IT department is always late.

Boy was I ticked! I wanted to scream out ‘He is lying!’ Something restrained me. I have no idea what; I can’t tell you that at that point I was really that savvy about my working relationships.

If I had argued with him, I would have been right. He did ask for changes, he did know it changed our schedule and he did agree to the new schedule. But I would have paid the ‘Price of Right’; it would have seriously damaged our working relationship. It would have damaged my reputation. After all it is bad form to yell at a customer in front of the team. I would have damaged my career just to satisfy that one violent urge to be right.

But you can bet that next time we had a change log and created change requests for each new or modified requirement.

 
Read 3763 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 April 2008 14:41
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