Tuesday 22 June 2010

Respect the Tip-O-Meter

A fair while ago I spent a lot of time working & travelling with a founding partner of a serious change and programme management consultancy firm, now unlike most CONsultants I actually liked, trusted & fully respected Brad & Max and their team of ninja change consultants. This was mainly due to 4 factors :-
  1. Without fail they delivered on everyone of their claims and promises, and never gave excuses - rare then, unheard of nowadays
  2. They were truly knowledgeable, experienced, international in culture & utterly unflappable - these guys really were industry veterans having seen it all. Including people with pasts such as 'submarine commander' there really was little that could throw them of course or surprise them...
  3. They were to first people to introduce me to the value & importance of a graphic artist as part of any major project team - now as @mpyeager stated the other day, you don't hear me say "I was wrong" too often (although I'm more than happy do so when it occurs). However I really was wrong with this, at first I just laughed at why anybody in technology would want an artist - 2 weeks later I agreed I was 100% wrong, ate my words and agreed that one of the key roles in any project is the visualisation artist.
  4. They were really genuine, nice, honest, trustworthy people
Now with all the above taken into account, naturally this team spent a lot of time travelling, in hotels and dining out - and one of the techniques used when dining out was the 'Tip-O-meter'.

In essence this worked much like a chess clock, with a starting time (in this case a figure of cash that the waiter would eventually get as a gratuity reward at the end of the meal) - then at every point people were left waiting for for staff the 'Top-O-Meter' would be set running, each delay or issue slowly debiting the reward. If the servers or place was particularly liked they would be told re the process & value in advance, but not always. Funnily enough when operating on this clear feedback & measurement system service was generally better, particularly in the places not normally expected.

So here's my thinking, it's time to bring out the 'Hype-O-Meter' - this should work on very similar principles except the value on the clock is debited by :-

  • Unsubstantiated claims (functional & non-functional - eg uptime/reliability, performance, TCO etc)
  • Generation and/or promotion of hype
  • Non-delivery of promises and commitments, non-delivery of 'pre-announcements'
  • Whispering privately of FUD (including lobbying of unqualified customer mngt)
  • Vendor activities directed at sniping or negativity re a competitor, rather than engaging & serving the customer 
And whilst the 'reward' on the clock remains there is continued ongoing business, obviously when the clock runs out of time, so does the supplier...

So if you think this makes sense I'm happy to setup and run the 'Hype-O-Meter clocks of doom' on this site - let me know?

[Oh and Max L if you're reading - your wife's painting still hangs on our lounge wall...]

1 comment:

  1. Ian,
    You need software that parses twitter streams, scrapes RSS feeds, and automatically updates the Hype-O-Meter clock of doom . If you quit your job and founded a startup to do this I'd reckon you'd be incredibly happy. What would you call your new company? DoomClock?