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A successful meeting

I took over another project the other day. The project hasn’t started and the problem was that we were waiting for some technical specification from a supplier. I was told that we’d been waiting for a month to get some information, but we still hadn’t gotten it. The business people are really eager to get going, so, you know…

I talked to the guy who’d been in contact with the supplier and asked him which information we needed. It turned out that we needed a specification for a certain function (X) so he could ask the operations team how much time this would take. It turned out that he hadn’t talked to the supplier, but a lot of e-mails had been sent between him and the supplier. He’s no technician and neither am I. I can admit to that I really didn’t understand what X was. So I asked if our techies had spoken to their techies. The answer was no. So, I called the supplier and asked if they had a techie to spare during an hour telephone conference. I sent all the e-mail conversations to our operations and then turned up on the meeting.

We discussed first and I asked what X was all about. And then the guys said that they thought it was something I actually know what it is but since I hadn’t seen this in other systems, I was puzzled that it had stopped the project. I asked if X was a requirement in our solutions. It wasn’t. Then we called the supplier and asked if the previous e-mails had been about X. It had. We then asked who had asked forX in the first place. Then it turned out to be that the supplier had asked if we wanted X. And there had been a huge misunderstanding that X, which we don’t want, was mandatory.

The meeting was over in five minutes.

Something are not suitable to discuss in e-mails and sometimes it’s better to leave the techie stuff to the techies.

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