Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Palace

Once upon a time there was a King who had a very wise Minister. One day the king desired to build a palace out of wood with all the craft work done on it, so he thought he could take the minister along with him during the next hunting in the forest, so that he could identify the right trees to build his dream palace. They both went into the forest and this is what happened.

The King encounters a tamarind tree, he asks the minister "Minister, can we build the palace out of tamarind wood?". The minister answered, "Of course, My Lord, however we can also build the palace using teak wood"

The King encountered a need tree, he asked "Minister, can we build the palace out of neem wood?". The minister came out with the same answer "Of course, My Lord, however we can also build the palace using teak wood".

Next comes a mango tree, the King asks if the mango tree can be used to build the palace. There is the same answer from the minister. This goes on for the next few tree varieties. Later they both, return home. There the King asks his puzzlement because of the minister's answers. He asked the minister, "For every tree that I pointed and asked if we can build a palace out of that tree, you said that we can build it, however we can also build using teak woods. Why?"

The wise minister politely answered "My King, Teak wood is quite durable than the other trees. However, when you, The King, have something in mind, I do not have the authority to refute your ideas. At the same time, my duty to you as a minister is to give you the right advice". The minister continues "I did not want to rebuke your ideas at the the same time, I did not want to do injustice to my duty, that is why I answered so".

Now, consider the same story with the Customer being the King and the Minister being the IT organisation. We will refer to the customer as "The King" and the IT company as "The minister". The King asks the minister, "Minister can we use the tamarind tree to build the palace?"

The minister now goes and prepares a 20 slide Presentation demonstrating the capabilities of building the palace with a tamarind tree along with the cost of building it. The King is awe-inspired and gives a go ahead.

Later the King asks if the palace could be built with a neem tree. Again the minister prepares a 20 slide presentation, the king is again cheated, sorry awe-inspired, asks if they could build it using the neem tree. The minister asks the king to give a "Change request or Request for Features Change". Then the minister proceeds on with the neem tree.

Then the king asks for the mango tree palace, the same process - 20 slide presentation, awe-inspired, change request. This goes on until the customer, sorry the King, either finds that the teak wood is the best for building a palace or if he becomes a mendicant.

At last when he realises that he has been awe-inspired, sorry cheated, so many times, he feels very angry that he feels that the person who invented "Change Request" should be ?________________________? (Fill in all the swear words you can think of). Sometimes, the king (customer) becomes so pathetically downtrodden that he realises that he should have never thought of building a Palace - Late realisation. :)

So long until the next post.


Anonymous said...

True..customers are king for IT orgs :) and the wise ministers rarely tell the truth :(

R.Prabhu said...

Thanks Anon