“Never delegate responsibility but allow people to TAKE it.” ~unknown
“You are not paid for how hard you work or how many hours you work. You are paid for the quality of your thoughts.” ~Jerry
Clients will often ask us whether we can do something, whether we have experience with a certain technology, or some similar question. This post discusses how we handle a question like that at OveractDev.
Clients who ask this type of question are often trying to determine whether they can TRUST us to complete a task for us BASED on our past experience. Engineers will often handle this question literally and “realistically”. So, they will truthfully reply: “No, I have not worked with that particular technology (e.g. iPhone app, VMWare, Selenium, etc.). “
However, if this IS a technology we want to master, if this IS a task we want to do for this client. there is a better way to handle the question. It is called, “changing the base”. Changing the base refers to altering the way the client makes their decision, FROM: do they trust us based on our past experience? TO: trusting us because we are willing to take ownership of completing the task successfully and on time.
So, if asked, for example,”Do you have experience writing iPhone apps?”, assuming iPhone apps is an area we wish to master and we would like to do it now, for this client, on this task; the reply that TAKES ownership is: “Not as much as I would like but, I promise, if you assign me the task, I WILL complete the task on time.” The first part of the answer can vary a bit but the punch is in the second part – take ownership. Allow them to delegate responsibility to you.
The fact is, new technologies arise all the time. And, we have mastered many of them. We will continuously be mastering new technologies as long as we work in software. Truth in Advance is when we KNOW that we can accomplish something that we have not yet mastered or sometimes, have not yet figured out HOW we might accomplish it. It is based on knowing that we will work hard, that we will do what ever it takes – and, most important, we have to trust our proven ability to think quality thoughts. We trust ourselves to be successful and on time.
When a client senses this from us, they have NO problem saying: “Right on. Make it happen.” And, you now have the job.