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Michael Van Cleave Traveling the technical world, learning the language

Okay, so a friend of mine and I have a good long running inside joke about the phrase “2 weeks”. 

A long time ago in the movie the Money Pit (good movie, you need to see it), there is one part where Tom Hanks asks a contractor how long it will take to finish the rest of the repairs on his money pit house, and the contractor replies “2 Weeks” and the rest of the constuction crew busts out laughing.

Nevertheless, through out our experiences (he is also a software engineer), it always seems that the customer or the boss wants the world completed in 2 weeks.  Until yesterday I thougth I was free and clear from hearing that expression again.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  I had the pleasure of going on a couple of sales calls to some great customers.  They have a serious need and they understand that it is best to have experts handle the problem for them instead of trying to just hack something together that may or may not help them.  Now realize that these are 2 very different clients, different buisness verticals, and completely different areas of town, and you know what the main theme to both meetings were?

“We need help, we have this problem and it is getting worse.  We don't have a lot of time to get this fixed.  Can you have it completed in 2 weeks?”

Even though I understand their pain and can see a good solution for the problems that both companies are having I know that no matter how good you are 2 weeks is a very short time.  Any person that says they can have anything done in 2 weeks is full of it.  To the one customer that I know can act now, I suggested an agile approach to the application they want to build that way we can solve their problem in steps and also get things done quickly.  But I also made sure to let them know that I couldn't specifically say that it would be completed in 2 weeks.

I hope that both of these customers are able to get their problems solved, but sometimes it is just odd how everything needs to be done in 2 WEEKS.


Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2006 9:12 AM | Back to top

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