In a previous blog post, I described my philosophy for client engagement that has evolved since founding, growing, and running Connamara Systems. I will further expand my thinking behind each of these tenets in a series of short posts. In this post, I expand on determining the possibility of success for an opportunity.
Only accept projects where we believe we can succeed in delivering value to the client
Being an optimistic organization that is confident of its capability to deliver can cause us to believe that every project opportunity presented to us can be a success. That is simply not true. Creating custom software solutions is fraught with risk. As the leader of a company that is in the business of delivering business-critical systems to our clients, it is my job to strike the balance between the project risk and the rewards gained from a successful project delivery.
It is important that we look at each opportunity with a critical eye as to our probability of success. Those projects that we deem as risky in terms of success we should professionally decline. Those that we feel are more likely to succeed should continue moving forward through our vetting process. This is fair not only to us but to the client.
A few of the questions we need to ask in determining if we have a good chance for success are:
- Does the proposed solution match our currently available skills?
- Does the opportunity fall into our domain of knowledge? Can we meet the time-to-deliver expectations of the client?
- Through initial discussions with the client, does the client acceptance criteria seem subjective and not concrete?
- Are the acceptance criteria of the software, as defined by the client, dependent upon the commercial success of the product?
- Does the client share our values?
In answering these questions, an initial assessment of the opportunity can be made to determine if it is worth the time both for us and the client to continue discussions.