Errors in the implementation of the Corporate Portal or electronic document management

Of course, such a post will be approved only in the fiery hearts of IT contractors, and fighters of the front-line cybernetic band - but I think it will not be superfluous to publish!

I work as an IT specialist in a large company. In general, everything is fine and wonderful. One day, our leadership decided to keep up with the times and there were thoughts to automate. They chose Electronic Document Management for quite some time , but either it was a pity to pay a lot of money, or some developers were fake, in short, all this negotiation-presentation disgrace took a lot of time. In the end, we settled on some solution. The product is adequate, developed for Microsoft Sharepoint 2013 Worklite Docs (for some reason I am well acquainted with this system). In general, the choice fell on him.

We put together all our corporate Wishlist, ordered, implemented - launched. Everything is fine, everything works. But that's not the point. It was a saying.

I lathered on vacation, well, and wound up as usual for a couple of May weeks, categorically scoring on everything and everything. Before this, everything was safely double-checked, having made reserves, and putting an assistant in his place. And he’s a guy - I must say a little dumb, but extremely meticulous - moreover, to the place and out of place. Strictly strict, he forbade him to touch or touch anything, and if I should call (and I remotely, like a real guru, if that - I’ll connect and do everything).
I forgot to say that with their technical support, I had some friendly relations, so we were kind and tender to each other.

A few days pass, I bask in the sun in a remote, but extremely favorable Mediterranean country. And then a heart-rending call comes from my assistant. He describes that he called the guys in technical support, with the stubbornness of the Suvorov flag-bearer and for every nonsense (as I understand it, he called there two hundred times and asked some kind of rubbish permanently), though he could not even clearly state the questions.

As it turned out, the developers turned out to be humorous and tormented with this moron - they rolled him a letter called "Memo for the client." I neigh for half a day. Then I revised it a little and bring it here - a slightly corrected version, in an artistic style. Now she’s hanging over my workplace in my office!

I quote the content (omitting all regalia and appeals according to corporate regulations):

Typical mistakes of customers when implementing complex systems based on Sharepoint 2013:

1. “We will do it ourselves”

A fairly common method that allows you to part with corporate money for a rather long and painful time, without the slightest prospect of getting something working or at least remotely reminiscent of a complete solution, but how fun!

It happens approximately in the following algorithm (the chronology of events may vary):

1) A decision is made to introduce a corporate portal and / or electronic document management

2) A budget is allocated in a fairly limited amount (the customer knows in advance what amount of funding and timing will be needed for the project, right? )

3) The search for the performer is carried out using the method of carpet bombardment. That is, a tremendous amount of time is spent in negotiations and presentations - the only purpose of which is to understand what it is all about and what it is eaten with, as well as to find out if all this can be done for free and within a couple of weeks.

4) After 5-6 presentations, an opinion is formed "all this is not at all complicated, and our Itshniks are already well versed in the issue." But still, common sense usually prevails and a parallel decision is made to hire at least one specialist (preferably freelance - then you can not pay a salary)

5) A peppy flurry of hands rises with the words "this is nonsense, now we’ll sit for a week, we’ll figure it out and we will do it all ourselves." Moreover, freelance usually shows the most sanity, looking at all this action on Skype - with sour doubt, but with a sigh - it naturally takes up the job (who pays, he dances).

6) The project manager stands out. With perseverance worthy of the sculptor of the Egyptian pyramids - he is zealously trying to collect information from the departments, departments, branches of the company about wishes for a future fundamental solution, glue together the structure in a visual form and sketch out some kind of plan. And here the most ingenious thing happens, it turns out that no one wants to take any responsibility for decisions, cannot, can not, refuses and delays in every way the moment of approval of at least some slightest intelligible corrections.

7) Having put together a more or less digestible work plan with battle, the most magnificent part of the Marlezon ballet comes in — the formation of the Terms of Reference. Is a song. Moreover, you need to understand that just a outline of the work and a detailed terms of reference with a detailed description of each item are two different things. This is where the first insight comes - payment for the development of technical specifications turns out to be - this is not at all such a strange thing. And to write TK with one's own hand, having, in principle, no experience, is a little time-consuming business ... to say the least - almost impossible.

... A slight departure from the enumeration of the chronology.

(all this time, the salary of all participating persons is naturally paid) The average number of simultaneously employed employees is about three, with a minimum salary of, say, 50-70 thousand rubles. All the above-mentioned riot of the spirit - this is about 2 months - means 300 - 400 thousand rubles. roughly shoved into the project, which in fact has not even begun the path to implementation. So let's continue ...

8) So. TK is written. Peppy, but infinitely sad freelance began his painstaking work of many months. In the meantime, we will move on to design. Naturally, to approve the design, you will need to go all the above path (this by itself) - albeit in parallel mode. (some Responsible for the project prefer to engage in design and TK at the same time, but usually then the project generally ends there). That is, while the freelance sculpts the solution, the person in charge of the project goes through all the circles of hell inside the company again, and becomes seasoned in interdepartmental battles like Hercules tearing the mouth of a lion. In general, the design will be approved sooner or later, because the art part is the simplest, although it certainly has specifics in conjunction with Sharepoint. By the way, many companies believe that the design is optional (therefore, the dull ending of the whole epic - it looks even more dull in the light of the standard Microsoft template). But that later ...

9) Then the days endlessly stretch ... stretch and stretch. A sad freelance becomes even sadder, because to execute a project alone is quite problematic, and quite a lot of specific directions appear during the implementation, as well as unaccounted for corrections, errors, inaccuracies, etc. Itshniks of the company (remember about the forest of hands?) they help as much as they can - but it has already surfaced that so many things require special skills, experience, and that in general, everything is not as fun as it seemed from the beginning. Accordingly, the terms of the project are being delayed and delayed. The person responsible for the project naturally finds himself between a rock and a hard place, and in general, he is already used to getting scolding from his superiors and breaking into the wall of misunderstanding of the rebellious alien freelance and the fervent, but infinitely native IT specialists. As the classics said, “Roses on his cheeks have faded and turned to ashes.”

10) Days, weeks, months pass in such a funny disgrace (sometimes even years happen)
The result is usually sad. On the exhaust it turns out that a strange, not very convenient, curved oblique, with a bunch of static pages and the appearance of pseudographics used in the mid 90s. But the funniest thing is it works! Falls out into errors, does not allow you to do almost anything (for the sake of which everything was started) - but it works. And even used !!! The person in charge of the project with the look of a Varangian cruiser proudly looks down on the pale shadows of his subordinates and even allows him to say hello to his hand! It doesn’t matter that the money spent (with fine calculations) is four times more than the Developer company would have taken, it doesn’t matter even what the lead time would have been to conquer a small African country and build skyscrapers there! It’s not even important that working in this is completely impossible, and the opening of the main page - causes an attack of panic depression in absolutely everyone, including even the fish in the aquarium. Officially - the project is completed! Hurrah!

PS Six months later, the management comes to the conclusion that the project is still “something wrong” and, after quick negotiations with 2-3 companies (given the sad and highly paid experience), quickly concludes an agreement with the official developer on the estimate.
Dear Clients! Development and implementation of complex and specific solutions on the basis of MS Sharepoint is a sport of people who are brave and contemptuous of the world. Try, dare, but just in case, immediately allocate a double budget and get ready for colossal deadlines. We are not responsible for your mistakes, both financial and temporary. And even if you already spent (to do something on your own) a few million rubles and a lot of time on the previous front of the work, this does not mean that we must pay you for our work at a price reduced by five times and we commit ourselves to complete everything in a couple of weeks . Appreciate your money and our time.

2. "We want cheap, a lot and all at once ... but better for free"

The customer is ready to work with a third-party executing company. He has the Terms of Reference already paid for and formed by a third-party company and he perfectly understands what he needs, but categorically does not want to pay for anything else or, God forbid, stutter about money.

It often happens that the customer already imagines what necessary functionality he needs and is looking for the company of the contractor. TK is already present and, in principle, the conversation is always quite substantive in all aspects except financing. In most cases, it turns out that the client needs almost everything! That is, absolutely everything that can be presented on the technology market (Corporate Portal, SED, BI, KPI, Design, etc.), but the budget is so ridiculous that no developer seriously takes him as a potential client after announcing the maximum possible financial costs. Moreover, the customer delays publicity of the amount of the budget literally until the last moment, seriously counting on the fact that such a policy can work. Well, agree - the amount, for example, is less than 500 thousand rubles, it simply cannot be logically considered as a budget for all the listed functionality. This type of customer — usually terrorizing — everyone and everything. Endless correspondence, meetings, negotiations - that would ultimately squeeze out a voice that could hardly cover Borjomi drunk during a nervous breakdown with the manager of the client’s host.

Adequate amounts (even much lower than the market) - plunge him into a stupor. Like a golden widow in orange eyes - the customer swims in a chair when he hears an amount of more than 100 thousand rubles. and rolls his eyes with the thought that he simply simply decided to rob him.

Dear Clients! Please try to adequately understand the complexity and possibilities of financial costs in the development of MS Sharepoint. At the moment, there are no solutions or opportunities in the world to make serious developments or implement such systems for similar amounts. You can’t introduce or even just start the implementation of the Electronic Document Management System for 80 or 100 thousand rubles - such cases are still unknown to science ... Remember that development from scratch for the specific customer’s specificity is different from a boxed solution. And the proportionality of financial costs will be strongly polar.

When developing for a customer - you get exactly the solution - which is specifically agreed with you, and carries the specifics of your company.
When buying a boxed solution, you get a finished product that is implemented in a universal way and will require you to develop a developer if necessary improvements. You get in this case only a license for use and technical support. But the developer company is not obliged to modify it according to your specificity or according to your desires, unless this is agreed upon in advance in the contract.

We are not responsible for the backup, restoration, training, experiments “but I try to do it like this ..” removal, and malfunctions - which were carried out by your specialists during the operation. We are always ready to help the customer, but we won’t take your mistakes or training without proper funding and documentation.

3. “We bought a boxed solution from you, now we want you to train our specialist for free - because we don’t want to pay for improvements in the specifics of our company”

The customer reserves and pays for the boxed solution. There were no conversations or references to improvements or training. Well, why pay, right? After all, there is a system administrator who has any skills, from building an intelligent analytics system to designing ballistic missiles. He can do everything quickly and efficiently. So - the customer’s manual pays for the solution in its basic form (without customization and improvements) - the customer is supplied and deployed the product at its facilities, the sad system administrator or his assistant or assistant assistant (who sees all this pleasure for the first time) comes and the game begins in the style of “ please teach me everything, I want to be able to like you! And if you do not teach me, then you are bad and I will complain .. "

Dear Clients! We are not responsible for the technical skills of your specialists. We are always happy to offer our own - but every work, as you know, must be paid. Our specialists will always be happy - to train, show, modify, process, develop anything for you - but this will require financial investments on your part. If you bought a car, the car dealership is not responsible for your ability to drive it. If you would like to save on finalizing the solution to your needs and consider that your specialists can do it, then it is understood that they have the technical specializations of the industry and can work perfectly in such applications as Visual Studio and Sharepoint Designer - moreover, fully understanding the development logic for MS Sharepoint, as well as understanding the logic of the movement of processes in the EDMS, assignments,

Technical support means exclusively advisory work within the framework of the implemented functionality and does not imply the training of your specialists. Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to train the customer’s specialists for free with basic MS Sharepoint skills. We recommend taking such courses in specialized institutions at the “Specialist” level, or entering them into the contract and paying separately.

I would like to raise approximately the same question in cases when your specialist “killed” the system on his side, deleted everything, granted admin rights to the first ones he met, or simply doused the server rack with gasoline and set fire to it: We are engaged in restoration, backup and structuring - only if this is it is explicitly stated in the contract and as a result - it was financially provided by the customer.

4. “I am responsible for the project management in our company, but I really want to leave unexpectedly on vacation or just go missing for a couple of weeks - so that your technicians could not contact me on issues of interest within the project, and then I want to come and ask - why not ready? ”

When concluding a contract for conducting the front of work, we first insist on insisting that a responsible person be assigned by the customer, who will be responsible for the feedback from the customer. Usually this is the IT Manager or someone from the nearest subordinates. It’s good if everything is smooth, but sometimes it happens when a letter from our specialists remains unanswered, and upon a detailed examination of the issue it turns out that the Responsible went on vacation to warm his heels in the hot California sun. In general, it’s not bad, even enviable. "Ah America is a country, they walk and drink without a snack." But I would like to be warned in advance or somehow cooperate on this issue, because - in the process of development - there are so many questions. Because he was exhausted - such a tourist is somewhere in distant countries, and didn’t say a word to anyone - take a shower here as you want. And he will return - the authorities will ask him: “How is it, Pyotr Ivanovich, our mournful affairs are moving, for example, to finalize the document card?” And Pyotr Ivanovich didn’t have an ear or a snout, he rested, and he didn’t spit on the document card, the document itself, the authorities, or us at the same time ... Well, as a result, let's e-mail us, they say everything is ready for you already? Where to look? And why say you were messing around, gouging, for our money? and at the same time we’re together ... Well, as a result, let's e-mail to us, they say everything is ready for you already? Where to look? And why say you were messing around, gouging, for our money? and at the same time we’re together ... Well, as a result, let's e-mail to us, they say everything is ready for you already? Where to look? And why say you were messing around, gouging, for our money?

Dear Clients! In the development process, a huge number of questions arise, and you are required to verbally participate and promptly feedback on issues related to dual issues or just clarifications, without answers to which it is extremely difficult to continue the development logical chain, or there is a risk of implementation of the wrong what exactly is necessary for your company. Responsible of the customer for the project - must always be available by phone, email or at least skype. And a huge request to notify us in advance of the absence. If we can’t get an answer from you within a week, it means we extend the deadlines for this week, and then you shouldn’t call every five minutes with the question “Is it ready now?” Sorry,

Sincerely, Technical Support Worklite Docs.
Electronic workflow and corporate portal Worklite

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