Steve Jobs once claimed (sadly, near the end of his life) that Apple didn’t have committees. Zero “decision by committee” that too-often dooms really good ideas. My favorite quote from the above interview:
“Good ideas have to win.”
It’s such a great concept that anyone who’s ever been a member of a technical team can easily understand. Sure…Argue, explain, lobby, wave your arms around and freak out, but the idea has to win the argument. This is particularly tricky with larger organizations. Sadly, so much of what should be actual collaboration in a large company is really just a job-justification exercise. People are put on projects they aren’t passionate about and then everybody wonders why the project is behind schedule, over budget, etc.
Now, granted, not every project is sexy. Nobody ever wakes up in the morning and says “I can’t WAIT to get to work and upgrade Oracle this morning!!!” Well, maybe some of you do, but you are weirdos. This is where leadership can make or break a project. If you can’t demonstrate the value of the project to the team, it doesn’t have much value. I do this dance with my clients all the time. If I find that they have no passion for the project or don’t see the value, they CERTAINLY aren’t going to want to pay my invoice or even stay engaged long enough to see the project through.
There is nothing more gratifying in this line of work than crafting an elegant, cost-effective solution for a client who needs you.