How Does Anyone Develop Anymore?

Is it just me or do others spend more time on a project dealing with IT and D.B.A.s and S.O.W.s and P.O.s and meetings and other time-wasting and project delaying B.S. than actually developing the application anymore?

I am personally having real trouble quoting on projects anymore because of the uncertainty of all the peripheral crap that can’t be predicted (but that should definitely be expected 🙂 ).


About Biggus Dickus

Dick is a consultant in London, ON Canada who specializes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Development.
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8 Responses to How Does Anyone Develop Anymore?

  1. Jon Peltier says:

    I am frustrated by this as well. The only saving grace is that most of my projects are small, and considered “not important enough” to need to worry about all of those details.

    Perhaps we need a clause that says the project will cost X, but if lawyers get involved it will instead cost Y. The trick is coming up with the factor of Y/X.

    I had one project on which I should have used Y/X = 2, and I never made enough margin on it to cover my own legal costs. Another recent project died while the lawyer on the other side argued with standard clauses I inserted, after I’d scoped out the SOW with the technical contact. Perhaps the “net 90 days” is what put the final nail in the coffin.

  2. JP says:

    My latest “project” (more like a temp job) is under the radar and out of the way of IT, I don’t think they even know I exist!

    • Dick Moffat says:

      That’s the way to do it. “Under the radar” has always been my mantra but it’s getting harder and harder to stay that way. Also, when you’re “under the radar” the money isn’t usually as good. I will talk soon about the whole issue of what is adequate compensation for what we do.


    • Jon Peltier says:

      Under the Radar. That’s what I called “not important enough” to worry about. But they’re squeezing every dollar of cost out of their budgets, so the radar keeps getting finer resolution.

      • Dick Moffat says:

        Actually in the old days you could do some serious stuff “under the radar” because integrating Corporate data was not even an option. Nowadays they always want to integrate (and rightly so) and so it becomes a lot like “Whack-A-Mole” when IT gets involved :-).

        This is a serious problem for people like us and one I keep insisting that only Microsoft can fix this (if it can be fixed) by using the clout of their influence in the field to change biases against what we do.

        Tragically the people most difficult to reach are MS’s own people in the field. I recently had an Access Planner up here in Canada and when I asked the MS Office PM for Canda to meet with the guy while here the PM said straight out “I have no reason to or interesting in talking about Access.” Ouch !!



      • JP says:

        I know, and I almost agreed with your original comment, but I’m not negotiating contracts and all of the stuff you’re doing, so I’m insulated (temporarily) from that side of the business.

  3. Simon says:

    If you cut out all the admin crap, bill chasing, failed quotes and estimates you could probably work for 10-20% of your daily charge out rate and spend more time with family and pets.
    I’ve had nothing but pain this year from consulting, not even the effing fee due in one case. So I’m not doing it anymore.
    I’m selling prepackaged tools via codematic and every now and then I’ll get a contract via an agency to top the finances up.
    Bespoke software/consulting is pants.
    and when you call a tradesman to fix the boiler they’re too busy for weeks and charge whatever they like, and get paid before they leave.

    • Dick Moffat says:

      “Nothing but pain” is SO true.

      I have been lucky to have one client who has given me good business but otherwise it has all been a story in frustration and disappointment.

      I don’t see anything that indicates that this is going to turn – and the longer it goes on like this the closer we are to it all just falling apart in our business. If no one makes any money or sees no new business in the “hopper” then we simply won’t be in the business. Then where will that leave all the businesses in this world that rely on all types of technology then?

      I’d be curious if any of the people who come to your site and mine who have the classic “One Big Client” scenario are finding that client giving them the squeeze too.

      I would love to give everyone in our business a “truth serum” so they’d say how shitty things REALLY are for them too because I’m sure they’re telling the truth. But everyone’s afraid to admit it.

      I guess you and I are too honest – and I guess that’s why we’re friends :-).

      Hang in there.

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