Friday, 13 December 2019

Sweet Bird Of Truth

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


Good to see the back of that recent election campaign, with so many questions of trust.

It made me think this week as I was writing a guide to scoring tender ITT questions. Its human nature to give people the benefit of the doubt I guess, but its always so for suppliers wanting higher scores to game the system.

Higher scores always means a greater chance of being chosen, snagging the deal, making the sale. Sometimes suppliers don’t help themselves. They don’t perhaps know their solutions as well as they should, or use imagination when answering. Not that I am advocating suppliers to be dishonest, just that they show solutions in the right light. Suppliers should know their solutions and its advantageous that they also know something of how their customers use them too.

Demonstrations too are places where questions need to be accurately answered. Its not like at a general election when pretty much anything can be promised. Your project which will most likely cost you hundred thousands of pounds, will rely on getting straight answers. Fail in this and you will no doubt encounter expensive change control later or disappointment.

So how do you ask a good question?

Well in a lot of cases, make it closed and needing a Yes or No answer. There’s many ways to divert a question, but if its not answered, ask it again and again. For me, I would rather a supplier fess up and say ‘sorry we don’t currently do that’, than try to bluff it out. There’s no shame in saying no and just moving on.

Where it needs to be a bit more open, ensure the answer relates to the original question asked. Where a supplier is on shaky ground they can use a few avenues, just like politicians spookily enough.

First of all is ‘Whataboutism’. If the answer is more of the ilk of ‘Don’t think about that’, ‘Think about this other (unrelated) thing’, you are suffering ‘Whataboutism’. In politician speak, a question about the last administrations 9 year record would be responded to with, “Yes but what about, what that lot did in 2008?”. When answered in this way, your attention is diverted and you don’t get a satisfactory answer. 

Second, beware of repetitive slogans. This election was dominated by ‘Oven ready’, ‘Get Brexit Done’, which people find easy to swallow and remember, but who can tell you what the detail is behind either of those? I have sat through demos where multiple times, suppliers have said “Everyone is buying our solution” or “It’s the most modern out there” or "but its Microsoft Dynamics CRM 365" etc. That still wont tell me if the solution will adequately handle homeless provision, IOT connections or secure two factor authentication, (or whatever you really need).

Third, beware getting answers to other questions other than the one(s) you asked. The political equivalent is when asked about “Why NHS performance is so poor?”, someone answers, “We will build 40 hospitals”. Now that doesn’t help answer the original question, but how many staff on your evaluation panel might think that was ok. If you ask for instance, “Do you have an interface with Mobysoft RentSense or replace it” and the answer is “We are writing our own predictive reports module for arrears”, you have suffered this little gem.

Fourthly, beware exaggeration.

Ask for examples or reference sites you can speak to who back up claims. They can be as illusive to obtain as the proverbial ’Rocking Horse Shit’ at times. Remember too, it’s not wrong or bad, to doubt. Was the supplier mistaken? Maybe they misheard your question. Its always in your gift to give them the benefit of the doubt....

So when assessing candidates, to supply your new solutions, think carefully about their answers. Your project may rely on it. I have helped over seventy organisations, pick their way through getting the right solutions from suppliers. If you need help from a sensitive and no nonsense Critical Friend, for your project, just get in touch.

Related Post: What are the key procurement questions to ask?  
 

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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

The The – Sweet Bird Of TruthThe The – Sweet Bird Of Truth.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

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Friday, 6 December 2019

When The Levee Breaks

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


I have been involved with enough implementation projects of various sizes, to have seen no end of risk and issue registers. Some RAID logs are but a few lines, others in tens of megabytes and looking more like Tolstoy’s War & Peace. They come in all shapes and sizes and all projects should clearly have one.

I have often seen people reluctant to add ‘Weather’, ‘Earthquake’ or ‘Bushfire’ on their risk registers, although I understand ones down under come Pre-printed with the latter these days. Climate is becoming more unpredictable, whatever your belief in man-made climate change.

The last big historic project related weather event I remember was in Jan 2010. There was serious snow, below zero temperatures and disruption. The weather prevented locals getting to a meeting in Blandford, Dorset when I had made it with colleagues from the North West. Apparently Dorset only had one snowplough. Who knew?

So lets face it, weather related risks used to be very unlikely. Well I think no more.

Last month over at a client where I am working as a Critical Friend, for a large integrated housing and contractor system project, I came face to face with how climate change, can affect a project. For the second time this year, (firstly Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire), floods of an almost biblical proportion, have stopped us in our tracks.

The severe South Yorkshire floods in Doncaster and Sheffield looked horrendous on the news. I for one would have preferred to see it classified as an emergency sooner, particularly having worked with the fabulous people up there at St Leger Homes and Doncaster MBC, over the last year or so. Brilliant down to earth folk. I always thought when watching the footage, that many in our project team, would be dragged off to assist. I wasn’t wrong.

While my heart goes out to the 80 or so families evacuated from the terrible floods, three weeks of many staff across the organisations, needing to be involved in a ‘Silver Alert’, takes its toll on a complex system and ICT transformation project. A few weeks of cancelled implementation and configuration sessions, leave a big gap, which is difficult to easily mitigate. Forward sessions in the project plan cannot go ahead, as previous config and preparation has not been completed.

This causes issues internally at the client and at supplier(s). Most suppliers try to allocate resources at least six weeks ahead, so cancelling sessions can mean a five week or more wait to reschedule. This often surprises clients, who often I hear say, “I was hoping for next week”!   When I was an implementer that’s how it generally was and also these days when organising consultancy days. It should not be a surprise, to anyone involved in a project. At St Leger Homes, we are still on track for our target go-live, although I for one will be keeping out a weather eye going forward.

So, my Takeaway (or Carryout for readers in Scotland), is to plan more seriously around the risk of weather related disruption, regardless of how you feel about the cause or evidence of human caused Climate Change.

Related Post: Are some of your transformation and ICT projects taking far too long, or never coming to completion 🤔?  
 


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Jeff Buckley- When The Levee BreaksJeff Buckley- When The Levee Breaks.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: #HomesForBritain,#HousingDAY,#InternetOfTenants,#Shout,#UKHousing, 07854655009, 1st Touch,1stTouch,360,365Agile,3squared,4Js, ACL,ALMO,AMS,AX,Aareon,Abritas,Academy,Accuserv,Accuserve,Active Housing,ActiveH,ActiveHousing,Acutence,Advanced,Agile,Agile365,AirWatch,Alignment,Allpay,Amazon Web Services,Anite,Apex,App,ArchHouse,Archouse,Asprey e-state pro,Asset Management,Associates,Aurora,Average IT Costs,AWI SX Integration Toolkit,AWS, BI,BO,BPR,BancTec,BigChange,Blockwise,BluTek,Bluebox,Blueprint,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning,Business Process Review,Business social networking, CACI,Capita One Housing,CBL,CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,CHICS,CHR,CIH,CMS,COA,CORE,CPL,CRM,CRM2013,CRS,CTI,CTX,Cadcorp,Capita,CapitaOne,Capita One,Capital Management,Cashflow,Castle,Castleton,Castleton Technology,Cedar Open Accounts,Cerrus,Change,Charges,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, Citrix,Civica,Civica CTX,Civica Cx,Civica Genero,Civica Saffron,Clearview,Clik,Cloud Dialogs,CloudDialogs,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Commontime,Community Reward Services,Company,Competitive Dialogue process,Component Accounting,Consilium,Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Consultants,Contact Manager,Context,Contractor Systems,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,Crystal Reports,Customer Relationship Management,Cx, DRS,Deeplake,Designer Software,Development Systems,Director,Document,Documotive,Dynamic AI,DynamicAI,Dynamics 365, ECMK,EDM,EDRMS,ERP,ESRI,Elmhurst,Enghouse Interactive,England,English,EnterpriseBI,Estatecraft,Etive,Exhibition,Exponential-e, Facebook,Factorwise,Field Service management,Finance,Financial Systems,Financials,Footprint,Forms,Freezes,Fusion, Gas Tag,G-Cloud,GCloud,GDPR,GGP,GIS,GasTag,Genero,GeoSolveIT,Getting best from,GoTonySmith,Grasp,Grip,Group Apex, HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,HRA,Hardware,Hitachi Systems,Hitex,HomeMaster,Hometeam,HouSys,House,Housemark,Housemark survey,Housing,Housing Contact,Housing Group,Housing Insight,Housing Management,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Partners,Housing Portfolio Management System,Hub Asset Management, Housing Support Pro,HousingIT,HousingSupportPro,HyperOptic, IMS,IT,IT Budget,IT Training,ITIL,Impact Response,In,In4,In4Systems Promaster,InfoBoss,InHouse,InMotion,InMotion2015,InMotion2016,InfoBoss,Infoflow,Information,Information Technology,Information@Work components,Informix,Innovation, Informetis,Inphase,Inside Housing,Insight,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Invu,Ireland,Irish,itLab, Keyfax,Keylogic,Keypera,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera, Landlord,Ledgers,Linkedin,Liquid,Locality,Localz, M3,MAVIS,MD,MDM,MI,MIS,MIS-AMS,MISCS,MRI,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,MWL,Management,Management Server,Manifest,Measuring,Mebus,Microsoft Dynamics 365,Microsoft dynamics GP 2013,Miracle,MobileIron,Mobysoft,Monopoly board images and pictures,Montal,Mr Void,MriEngage,MrVoid, NDL,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,NPS,NPS ASSIST,NPS Housing,NPS Job Manager Mobile,NROSH,Natural,Neighbourhoods and Communities,Nintexworkflow,Northgate,Northgate Codeman,Northgate Public Services,Notice, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,OJEU Limits,ORS,Ohms,OmFax,Omniledger,One,OneAdvanced,OneServe,Open source,OpenContractor,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Options,Optitime,Oracle,Orchard,Outsource and outsourcing,OutSystems, PIMMS,PIMSS Data,PM,PRINCE2,Paloma,Pamwin,PanConnect,People Value,Peoplevalue,PfH,Pick,PlanForm,Planned maintenance,Plus,Portfolio Management System,PowerObjects,Pro,Pro-Points,Prodo,Progress,Promaster,Propoints,Proval,Providers,Pyramid, QL,QuantSpark,Qube,QLX,Qlikview,QueryView,Queryview reporting,Quiss, RM865,ROCC,RPs,RSL,Rave,ReAct,Reality,RedkiteCRM,Red Olive,Registered,Registered Social,Rent Increase,RentSense,RentSenseLite,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,RobotAutomation,Rocket, Salesforce,Salesforce.Org,SAP,SASSHA,SDM,SHBVN,SM,SOTI,SP,SQL,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting,SQL Server,Saffron,Safron,Saturn,Scenario,Scotland,Scots,Scottish,Scout,Sequoa,Serengeti,Serros,Server,Service,Services,Servitor,Sharepoint,Sim,SimPro, Simdel,Simdell,Slash and Burn,Social Housing ICT,Social Housing Software Applications,Social Media,Software,Software solutions,Spotlight Service,Spotlightservice,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic,SunAccounts,Sunguard,Surveys, Swordfish,Sx3,Symatrix Human,System alignment,Systems,Systemwise, T-Files,TEAMS,TED,TFiles,TP Tracker,TSG,Tagish Casework,Tagra,Task,Technologies (India) PVT Limited,Telecetera,Template,Terminal Services,That,Three Star,Today,Tony Smith,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT,TonySmithHou,TonySmithHousing, ,TonySmithHousingITguy,Total,Total Mobile,Totalmobile,Trace,Tribal,Twitter, U2,UC,UK,UK Housing,Ukhousing,UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,United Kingdom,Universal,Universalcredit,Universe,Unrest, Valueworks,Van Stock,Vantage,Vantage Sentinel,Version,Virtualisation,Visualmetrics,Voice,Voice and data,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Wheatley,Windows Server,Workflow and,Work Hub,Works Connect, XML,Xen App,XenApp,Xmbrace, ...
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