Agency Sickness — Even asking has a cost

What I didn't share in my article is that the people that I was talking with fought me tooth and nail during the conversation. The conversation started because my friend said, “OMG, we spent several hours in a backlog grooming meeting. Guess how many stories we got through? That’s right, 3!!”

The conversation started with acknowledgement of the very point of the discussion and these people STILL argued that they could never do what we were talking about, which is to make the cost of all this backlog manipulation more transparent and tangible. (AKA: some form of change order)

As if to add yet another layer of irony, the project lead, about 20 minutes into the conversation all of a sudden volunteers, “Oh! You know, now that I think about it, we did exactly what you’re talking about in Chicago just last year.”

I think to myself, “Okay, I’m being setup. He’s trying to walk me into disproving the discussion point….” He had my attention, “Okay, what happened?,” I asked cautiously.

“Well, it was the smoothest project this agency has ever done.” Wait! What? Must be a trick. As I reeled at his answer, trying desperately to figure out where the “trick” was, he hastily added, “But no one here knows about that project and we could never do it that way here because these guys would just never go for it.”

I’m so naive. I still think that business is run by profit and a reasoned business case. The reason that change-cost-transparency had to be wrong? He didn't want to have to explain his experience to the people in San Francisco because they might reject it.

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