Monday, August 11, 2008

The Ideal Customer: One Person Who Calls The Shots

Further reading from Mr. Parmenter’s “Key Performance Indicators”, unveiled this nugget; “Any layer between the CEO and the [KPI] team indicates that Step 1 has not been successfully achieved. This point is so important that the project should not proceed if the CEO does wish to be involved in this way.”

Mr. Parmenter’s point is that the KPI project team should report directly to the CEO and no one else.

I was just talking to my oft-quotable, former business partner, Roy Allen. He said, “I only want to work with customers who have a single person who is responsible for the entire organization, and that person mandates what the other employees of that organization do.”

In other words, Roy likes decision makers who actually make decisions and he wants to report directly to that decision maker. He feels like that’s the only way to ensure success of his projects at that organization.

I don’t know about Roy’s projects, but Business Intelligence projects need a top-down mandate in order to succeed. I don’t always get to report to the CEO, but I love it when I do.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm Not Pete Rose

I went to Lake Havasu with my old business partner, Roy Allen, this weekend.
While we were out boating with our families, hanging out in the nice cool lake, avoiding the 120 degree heat, he said something pretty interesting.
He said, "You know your problem, Ike? You suffer what most of us suffer from. You are a terrible player-manager."

After I got over my shock, I asked him what he meant by that. He explained that there hasn't been a really good player-manager in baseball since Pete Rose, and even he wasn't all that great. He said that in a services firm, there are players (billers) and there are managers, and you can't be really good at both. You can stink at both, or stink at one, but being good at both is not an option. He explained that someone has to play the game and someone has to watch the players objectively, because only the manager will have good insight on how the game is progressing.

After some thought, I totally agree. And since I find consulting, teaching, and creating solutions so much fun, it looks like I'm going to need a full-time manager for the rest of the staff.