A lot happens before ideas become solutions.

At ElixWare we want to bring you more than just great, affordable software. We want to let you know how and why we do what we do.

Our Ruminations blog will bring you insights into how we got here and some of the things we consider when trying to help you run your business. We hope it gives you a better understanding of how we strive to better serve your needs.

Today Ozzy Hijacked Our Soundtrack

A day that reads like the Diary of a Madman

Crazy Train
It's not uncommon for me to look back at my day and think "How did things end up here?" Getting there before midafternoon is a bit early. But having our morning play out like a string of Ozzy Osbourne hits is just turning things up to 11.

I can't say we've never had days like this, but today seemed to have something extra. And the truth is we expect a few more of these in the not too distant future.

The Ultimate Sin
One thing a client should never do is work against their own best interests. But it happens all the time. We can usually predict these pitfalls relatively early. We try to gently plant seeds to prevent this type of problem, but they don't always take root.

Sometimes part of a project's requirements is a commitment to ensure compatibility with an existing system or design. In those instances, it's important that the client does not update or change this target - especially without telling us.

I Don't Know
Some of you may be asking "Why?" (I know I am) It's just something that some clients do. It's often based in a culture of poor communication. Some clients treat information like it's something so valuable that they don't want to share it until they absolutely have to. As you can imagine, by the time they share things it's a little (or even a lot) too late. The truth is the sooner we know the better. It saves time, money and keeps a project from getting derailed.

Fortunately for us we accidentally stumbled on the changes before we were done with the compatibility portion of the project. Unfortunately, we were told that the situation could "remain fluid". This means we wait until we're told about (or stumble upon) any future modifications.

Shot in the Dark
The waiting is the hardest part. It's tempting to try to chip away at things so we're not so far behind on our timeline for deliverables. But any guess we make is like trying to hit a moving target - without knowing which part of the target is moving. In the end we do the best that we can.

So, what do we do? We try to have it both ways. On one hand we try to pay close attention to any of the changes we can find. And we do the basic analysis on what it will take to accommodate the most recent modifications. On the other hand, we try not to focus too much on what has changed because any work we do could be simply a waste of time (once things change again).

No More Tears
When will we stop worrying? We'll stop worrying about the compatibility portion of the project once we get the "all clear". But there's always the sensation of "once bitten, twice shy".

There are more parts to the project than the compatibility portion. And we need to pay close attention to all of the project's requirements as we work through our deliverables. Generally speaking, if a client will change things without telling us once, they will do it again (and again).

Bark at the Moon
We have run into this type of situation before, even with this client. In an attempt to head it off we went out of our way to provide a very detailed proposal. We even added a section that addressed our concerns about delays and changes. And yet here we are.

In the end, we're familiar enough with the client to try to avert foreseeable problems. And they are familiar enough with us to know that we'll adapt as necessary, make sure the project gets completed and keep them from having to listen to the same soundtrack we had today.

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We are a small team with a lot of experience, specializing in software development, design, and workflow, process & project management. We are fiercely dedicated to helping you do what you do best — run your business — without getting bogged down in the mountains of paper and hours of screen time required to do it. We are equally dedicated to protecting your privacy and your data. Learn more about our privacy policy.