To Control Resources, Begin with the Right Resources

Controlling resources begins with planning resources or it will seem like you are attempting to put a square peg in a round holeThe nature of the business was that it was data intensive and decision based. The design of our automated solution was to collect this data efficiently and to optimize the decision logic and calculations.

Our client’s requirement was to port our solution from its native environment onto their newly acquired hardware infrastructure.

Our management was hungry for a new win. It would only be a matter of time given that we were the industry leaders in this domain at the time. However, rather than patiently wait for a more ideal client situation, our management were anxious to grab the next opportunity that came our way.

And grab it they did.

The project initiation went well. The requirements-gathering workshops resulted in a detailed definition of scope and functionality. As we proceeded into design, we hired a skilled technical architect who was well-versed in the client’s specified infrastructure. Why we didn’t hire this expertise during the proposal development is beyond me (and well above my paygrade at the time).

He immediately expressed concern. As he understood our solution, it was designed to collect large amounts of data and store it in a complex database structure for both online and overnight offline processing. The client’s hardware was designed specifically for short-burst transaction processing. Think airline reservation transactions or banking transactions or point-of-sale transactions. Our solution was data and processing heavy. The client’s hardware was primitive in both data storage and handling.

Clearly, we would not be able to port our solution onto the client’s system without a complete redesign and rewrite of the software. Why even start when the hardware solution would never be able to handle the client’s business?

The project sent our technical architect and the client’s senior technical manager to the manufacturer’s headquarters to consult with them on the best way to proceed. The hardware manufacturer also agreed that the hardware was not designed for a project of this nature.

The project was soon terminated.

What is the lesson from this unfortunate (and painful) situation? There were many; but in keeping with the topic of Control Resources, it is difficult to implement these processes when the wrong resources were acquired in the first place. The great lesson is to begin the monitoring and controlling of project resources by planning well during the initial project stages.

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