You Just Don't Know

Overheard at far eastern hotel lobby one morning (over a year ago, but I remember it):

"I don't understand why [technical employee] can't just do it. It's so simple."

He was talking about some technical employee who wouldn't promise to deliver something "on time", assumed to have been on a conference call earlier that morning. Then this business person went (in my mind) overboard and added,
"Give me a computer: I can do it in 2 weeks."

Okay, you know what? No, you can't. Because if you could, you would have, and you would be in a different position at the firm.

I understand that business people can be passionnate about their business and all that, and they see things simpler than tech people do. After all, conceptually, they usually are simpler: that's the idea behind a concept versus actuality. But I hate when businesspeople say crap like "I can do that", because that's just unappreciating of someone's work and, by extension, disrespectful of that person's skills. It's like a tech guy stating,
"Those business people, they just talk. I can go and talk. Give me a phone, a suit, and a crazy expense account, and I can land those guys in 3 hours."

Ah, the constant battle between business and technical, between marketing and engineering, between dreams and nightmares.

1 comment:

S said...

Anyone who has very little understanding of an area of expertise will assume tasks are easy. It's because they lack the experience and cognitive ability to realize that it's not as simple as adding a bullet point in Microsoft Word.

That isn't entirely their fault. They were very clearly stakeholders who weren't managed properly. I see it as at least partially the responsibility of the technical staff, or someone who Knows Better[tm], to manage their expectations.

-- S.