Monday, March 03, 2008

"It didn't kill us, so it must have been ok"

The title of this entry are some fine words of praise I got today.  I left the safety of the Ivory Tower of IT today to grab a snack and ran into the VP of one of the business units that my team developed an application for last year.  I asked how everything was going with the new application and that is what he told me "It didn't kill us, so it must have been ok".  He wasn't talking about just the new applications they just completed the last month of the "busy season" but clearly the applications were not as much of a help as we had hoped.

He then quickly moved into how the business process is changing and how understaffed they were; typical concerns everywhere I guess.  That line of conversation about the business process, prompted a whole line of  thought on the way back.  It's funny how so many of the seasoned, high powered developers seem to scoff and complain about processes.  While on the business side of the house the process is what makes or breaks a company.  Some might even say, that the process of how things are done is what differentiates one player in an industry from another.

It seems odd sometimes that IT gets away with as much as we do.  Breaking processes when we see fit, taking short cuts, the list could go on and on I'm sure.  It makes me wonder how different the "processes" in a software development company is from a company who develops software as a by-product of their business.

Someday I hope I'll be involved with a software solution that at the end of a busy season the user says.  "Wow that worked great! I don't think we would have made it through those last 3 months without that application."  Maybe that is just a dream though...  New applications cause business processes to change and ultimately when it comes down to it everyone hates change, good or bad. 

Maybe in another year the business will say "How did we ever get along without that application?"  Still not glowing praise but at least we wouldn't be compared with death and dying...