After spending a couple weeks blogging about how to ensure project success, I was reminded about a presentation given by Dean Streck from V I Engineering back at NIWeek 2001. He gave a humorous presentation on the top ways to lose money on projects.
1. Don’t communicate … ever … with anyone (not your coustomer and not your vendors.)
2. Don’t train you sales team – on how to make contacts, assess customer needs, estimate projects, validate quotes, negotiate terms, close sales, ….
3. Verbals are as good as gold. Don’t worry about getting final specifications. Forget about kick-off meetings. Just take any version of the project proposal and dive right into building the system.
4. Don’tbother with project management. Just put junior engineers to the task. No need for a design review or leveraging existing technical assets. Encourage them to do it their way without constraints.
5. Plan to use 100% of your budgeted time. And, if the customer asks for changes, just say yes. Memories are perfect, so don’t bother documenting anything especially changes. The only status updates occur at the beginning and end of the project. If your engineers do have extra time, have them spend it perfecting the system beyond required specifications.
6. When you think your done coding, try installing the system right away. The best place to find errors is at the customer site. Don’t bother the customer by calling in advance and scheduling time. Assume you will have clean power and noise free environment.
7. Support contracts are a waste of time, so forget about them. Just agree to fully support your system if the customer is ever dissatisfied or makes any changes.
I must admit I got some chuckles looking back through this presentation. Hopefully, you will too.