Is it just me?

Andy Armstrong andy at
Thu Jul 5 11:31:37 BST 2007

Jacqui caren wrote:
> Fatal mistake #1: too much information.
>  One reasonwomen fare worse in this industry is that we tend to
>  like to talk :-) In situaions like this I am know tobe far too verbose
>  providing information thatthe client does not need to know.
>  In this case he wated to know if somethingcouldbe shown today.
>  "Yes but we still have spme testing to do" wouldhae covered it.

Yes, that's quite true - but I'm kind of opposed to the whole
need-to-know thing too. I'd rather tell them the truth and judge them by
how they deal with it :)

>> Client: "In that case you're done - we're not paid to support mickey
>> mouse alternative browsers"
> I thought that all UK publicsites have to be browser and disabled
> friendly? If this was not in the spec from the then they
> needto replace their contracts people.

In a previous life I did a lot of work with the public sector. Yes, they
are absolutely supposed to make everything standards compliant,
accessible, lovely. But of course they don't. There's a whole 'nother
rant there but I'll save that for another day :)

> I would have hoped your client would have provided you with reqs
> both from them and thier client.

And presumably there's a parallel universe in which that actually
happens? :)

Me: "It's going to look rubbish; when you zoom right in this tiny little
marker is going to fill the page. It'll be unusable"
Client: "Don't worry, just finish it off and we'll get the money"

> 1/3 of my time is usually spent getting the client to think about
> needs they do not include in the original requirements.

Which is fine if the client is actually motivated to do the right thing.

I think it works like this: people in the public sector are often
jealous of business people with their shiny suits, cars, lives. One of
the ways public sector people can emulate these heros is by blowing huge
wads of /our/ money on ill-conceived, poorly executed projects that
benefit nobody apart from the company who gets the cash. Down at County
Hall if you're working on a £5,000 project you're a loser. If you're
working on a £100,000 project you're the talk of the town.

One of the reasons why I sold my interest in $(previous_gig) was that I
got sick of spending loads of time working with public sector clients to
think of cost effective ways of meeting their statutory objectives only
to have the job go out to tender and be grabbed by sharp dressed
turd-funnels who would end up charging ten times as much as we'd quoted.

>> [1] Client: "How many concurrent users do you think it'll support"
>>     Me thinks: "That's highly unlikely to be an issue"
> This should have been in the requirements!

Heh. As a general rule public sector sites get approximately NO HITS AT
ALL[1]. In 2001 we were hosting more than 70 council websites on a
single P3 box hooked up to a 256K (yes K!) leased line. You wouldn't
believe how few people want to read the chief executive's mission
statement or report a pile of dog turds in the street.

[1] This is an approximation but it's not far off. Councils spend
millions on websites and then cream themselves if they get a few
thousand hits a day.

Andy Armstrong, Hexten

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