Friday, June 21, 2013

Kids vs Clients - who wins you decide

I spent the day with my 2 kids yesterday (4yrs and 2yrs) and had an awesome if not tiring day with them.
What I realised after looking back on the day was that I think anyone ho wants to run their own business should start by managing young kids for a day, they make the best on the job training money can buy.

My oldest is quite happy to sit and play on her own with her princess castle and entertain herself in short 15-30 minute bursts before deciding it is time to do something different.
She will then come and find me asking for a different toy or if she can watch TV etc, once setup with this new mini project we get 30 minutes of clear time before the next project needs to be found and started. Projects rarely get finished, movies are always half watched etc.
If she does something embarrassing and it is noticed (a trip up over the corner of a rug for example), all hell breaks loose and all projects are put on hold, or dropped from the master

My son is the complete opposite, he likes to follow you around checking up on you, closing cupboard doors you have left open to make putting the dishes away possible, luckily he announces the closure by pointing, yelling 'door' and slamming it closed while you aren't looking.
He like to change the rules constantly, after picking his sandwich ingredients and watching it be made, he decides one or two or all of the ingredients are not up to spec and removes them to be eaten or dropped on the floor.

And I guess anyone who freelances will see some similarities in this behavior in some of their clients, well I can in some of mine and this is not a bad thing.
As someone who tries to build software/web to model business processes for a living, I need to understand how the people who are going to use the software think and deal with all aspects of what is built.
Yes I know it can be a pain to have a client looking over your should while you work and there can be a lot of 'hold your tongue' moments, but in the long run I think they have to be (hopefully) happier with the end result as they have been there every step of the way.
Obviously this is not always the case....

Customers who give you a brief spec and say good luck, then disappear until they come up with the next idea are great for developers as we can get on with the project and just build it. At lest until the customer comes back with the next best idea they have ever had and ask for it to be added...

Both have good and bad points, there is no such thing as a perfect customer and at least most of the time time they door drop to their stomachs and starting kicking and thumping the floor while wailing.... well .....

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