Monday, September 04, 2006

Jataka Tales of Modern Times

World's 18th largest shoe maker Supreme Shoes Inc decided to outsource an important software development project to India's 23rd largest consulting company You Pay For It Tech. It took a few months to get past the initial contract. The investor of Supreme Shoes was away on vacation and then he went on a business trip before getting all the facts and costs of the project cleared up. You Pay for It agreed to do the project for $10K. The contract allowed both the parties to revise the cost, scope on a set of agreed parameters. Top techies from You Pay For It visited Supreme Shoes factory to do a system study. Techies from Supreme Shoes visited You Pay For It to explain the project further. At the end of one month, a new Project Manager assigned for this project at YPFI said, that it would cost close to $18K. The techies from SS where shocked and asked the YPFI to review it.

Senior techies from YPFI intervened and settled the price at $12K, hoping that SS would agree to it. The PM may be right in his estimate based on his IFPUG and other models of software estimation. But YPFI Top management was keen on getting the project and do what ever it takes to do the project.

By the time the project started, the senior techies of YPFI who were involved in the system study moved out to other projects and companies. YPFI had this new PM and a bunch of new developers assigned for this project. The project, as expected took everyone time to almost twice of what was originally planned. Now the cost was coming to about $18K. YPFI decided to take this up with SS to have them pay as per the new cost.

SS sent its dumb technical person to evaluate on why the cost went high. YPFI insisted that there were changes in the scope and SS disagreed. The dumb techy acknowledged that YPFI had to do more to implement the initially agreed requirements. Mr. Sam the smart CEO of SS decided to resolve the impasse.

Though he didn't like the dumb techie's observation, he wanted to play by the contract but allow for some feasible concession. YPFI wanted to play by the contract too, but they were disadvantaged as no requirements changed. They argued that the requirements changed and failed the argument. In a fit of rage, YPFI's top negotiator gave up and agreed for $12K. Mr. Sam was happy. YPFI could have taken up the dump techie's observation and could have demanded more for the fair increase in the effort. Their ego didn't allow them to accept an error from their side.

Moral of the story: If you are greedy and egoistic, you can't use the help of anybody.

This story didn't end here. The super techie of SS drove his bike in a rain and got his laptop computer soaked in a bagful of pure water. SS spent $1K to have the laptop replaced. SS continues to spend on unplanned and unwanted tasks and objects.

More of the story: By bargaining you probably don't pay one vendor, but you end up losing your money elsewhere. This is called Karma.