“Get this over with” vs. …

Get this over with” vs. … “Get something started.”
Seth Godin.

Another enlightening blog entry from Seth Godin above. Once again the blog has got nothing to do with OSS, but in my (our?) world it has everything to do with the implementation of an OSS.

He uses the analogy of a fast food store getting a transaction over as fast and as cheap as possible. Get this over… and serve the next customer.

He then compares with other industries where it is all about getting something started… building a product and / or a relationship that will last.

Having spent more time implementing projects, my mindset has largely been getting the project delivered to time, spec and budget, then moving on to the next project…. Usually because the project has burnt me out, especially leading up to go-live.

But in reality, an OSS project is just the first stage of an ongoing relationship between CSP and vendor. For the relationship to be successful the implementation is simply the getting it started phase.

Seth’s approach also highlights a demarcation between mindsets. The implementer builds the handle and the operator turns the handle over and over. It is rare to find both mindsets in a single individual, let alone a team of individuals.

So, this sounds like a real challenge for CSP and vendor alike. If individuals rarely tick both boxes, it appears to imply one of two things:

  1. For an organisation to do both phases well it will need two separate teams, with a handover period in between (ie production support period)
  2. The organisation only does one or the other well and doesn’t really meet user needs

Looking back, it’s generally point two, leaving room for improvement on many OSS projects.

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