Home > General Comments > The Death of Reason?

The Death of Reason?

A rather dramatic title for a blog on managing an IT consultancy, I admit.  So, why use it?

As a career consultant and professional services manager since the late 80’s, I see a pattern of behavior that repeats itself time and time again:  for all the benefit Microsoft technologies can provide a client, and all the strengths a skilled Microsoft partner can provide the same client, at the end of the day most clients and partners find themselves rather dissatisfied with the experience.  And yet, I see very little changes in the behavior of most clients or partners to address this issue.

Sure, as an industry we talk (a lot) about client retention, satisfaction and being trusted business advisors so as to create better, stickier clients.  And, as clients, we talk (a lot) about vendor management, software selection, RFP processes, etc to better engage and work with a Microsoft partners.  And yet such talk culminates in the same behavior each time:  a client hires a vendor to do a specific job, expectations are usually different on each side, scope is defined on such mis-set expectations and, when the contracted project is done, the client feels they didn’t get full value and the partners feels they did the job well but are not appreciated.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing each time and expecting a different result, than clearly this constantly repeated behavior indicates a death of reason in the approach to Microsoft Client/Partner relationships.

The purpose behind this blog, then, is two-fold:  to provide advice to partners and clients on how to better manage themselves and their relationships, and to engage open discussion and commentary around same.  Our contributing authors will come from Microsoft, the Microsoft ecosystem (Partners and ISV’s) and Microsoft clients spanning all industries and all departments (accounting, ops, IT, marketing, sales).  The goal is the development of a broad viewpoint on how to improve our ability to manage, and engage, Microsoft consultancies.

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  1. August 15, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    I like it. On second thought, I like it a lot.

  2. August 20, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Dwight

    I have added your blog to the links on the Developing for Dynamics GP blog.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/DevelopingForDynamicsGP/

    David

  3. Dwight Specht
    August 20, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    David:

    Thanks for the link. Love the site, by the way. Would also love to see you as a contributor here!

    Dwight

  4. Gary Screeotn
    August 22, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Dwight,
    As you know, I am a long-time consultant and I completely relate to the reiterations that we go through each and every time we engage with a client. I would like to say that communication is key, but that is over used and abused. The consultant really has to “walk in the client’s shoes” for a typical week in their environment to fully understand what they do and how they do it. No amount of scoping business requirements can substitute for this. This relationship truly has to be a partnership with both parties putting “skin” in the game with specific goals forged out by the client and VAR and then signed and committed to by both parties. Unfortunately, too many VAR’s look at an implementation as a short-term project where they are then gone and perhaps return a year or so later to perform the upgrades. Clients need to be called on frequently AFTER the project, taken to lunch, invited to cookouts at your house. In other words, treat them like you would your own employees or friends. Only then does the synergism of relationships start to mold together and build a more permanent bond. Great article, Dwight.

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