We do love you I.T. We depend on you. We need you. But sometimes you make it tough for us. If you could understand us a bit better, both of our lives would be better.
I know we have to do more to understand you too. We have to be gentle and kind and sympathetic. We have to be careful not to make you our excuse for whatever goes wrong and we have to be thankful to you when you make things happen. We can’t keep dumping on you and expect that you’ll come through when we’ve failed. We know you work doctors’ hours on nurses’ salaries. We have to show you respect for your continuous learning. We have to be patient with the fact that you have to speak to us in your second language while we don’t really have to know your first one. We’re sorry that you end up on the hook for everything that goes wrong and we’ll work harder to thank you for all you do right.
But there are some things you need to know about us too.
We have other lives outside of you – big lives. By the time we bring you in, we’ve spent months with committees and project plans and sometimes dozens of people working to get things ready for you. We have strategies and visions and we’ve been working the big leaders in our shop to get buy-in for what we’ve doing. We’ve met dozens of milestones with teams of people doing tons of overtime to get us there. That’s all before we even come to you. Frankly, when you enter the picture, we’re already 80 per cent of the way there. You’re a spoke in the big picture of our projects, not a hub. You do the technical stuff – and of course you’ve got your own spokes to make that happen. But we’re also coordinating the research spoke and the planning and strategy spoke, the communication and outreach spoke, the wireframes and design spoke, the architecture development spoke, the process and governance spoke, the content development spoke (a big spoke that keeps on going well after you’ve started), the implementation and change management spoke, the analytics and reporting spoke. The more you know about our spokes, the better we’ll get on.
We know you work hard. We know that the hours are nuts. But when you have to put in overtime or bring in additional resources to stay on track, it’s, well, kind of your problem. We appreciate it – but we also expect it. Just as our clients expect that we’ll do what’s needed to get the job done.
Please keep in mind that when you enter the picture, we’ve already put in a lot of nights and weekends ourselves. We’ve busted our asses for months to keep things on schedule. We’ve spent a lot of hours deliberating every detail of what we’re trying to do. We’ve worked with groups of stakeholders to set objectives. We’ve tested hundreds of decision-points against those objectives. We dream about the user experience and the publishing requirements. Everything we hand to you has been thought about, tested, tweaked and re-tested.
So please make sure your developers don’t change things without asking us first. Talk to us like you want your dentist to talk to you. You don’t need to know the alloys used in that tool he picks your teeth with. You don’t need to know the course he took to be able to operate that drill. But you’d appreciate knowing what he’s going to do before he does it. It makes it less painful. And it helps you prepare for what you have to do after you leave his chair. Really, we just want you to talk to us more about the right stuff and less about the stuff that’s not our business. Or our concern.
Love from your digital project owner.