Catch Me If You Can. King Version

    I am called the King. If you use your usual shortcuts, then I am a consultant. More precisely, the owner of a new-style consulting company. I came up with a scheme in which my company is guaranteed to earn very decent money, while, oddly enough, benefiting the client.

    What do you think is the essence of my business scheme? You will never guess. I sell factories to their own programmers, and their own automation. Many times more expensive, of course.

    As you understood from my previous story, I was a very successful director. Many of you did not believe me - but, with due diligence, you will find my old publications, there you will find out my real name and read about successes. However, I prefer not to advertise myself.

    I once understood the value of an automated system and programmers. I draw your attention - not the value of automation, as a process. Awesome is exactly the automation system that you have. And the programmer you have is just gold. But you will understand this only in one of two cases: either he will leave you (the probability that you will understand is low), or I will sell it to you.

    I'll start in order. First of all, deciding to go in for this business, I chose the market. I did not think for a long time - because I had experience in managing a poultry farm. If we abstract it a little, we get the following parameters: the old enterprise, created in the Soviet era, many employees - since then, the new owner, who does not understand anything in this business, the hired director - it is important that it is not from among the previous employees, and, the main thing is the province.

    The idea of ​​choosing just such an area of ​​work is not mine, I spied it on two guys. One was implementing ISO at a time when everyone thought this certificate meant something. Another was engaged in the automation of plants for 1C in 2005-2010, when it was dumb for any plant to work on something else (also, in general, inexplicable).

    These guys had different reasons for this choice. Firstly, remoteness from the owner, his rare visits gave some freedom to local directors. Secondly, there is a problem with the staff in the province, which means that you can hook it on yourself for a long time. Thirdly, the same shortage of personnel concerned, first of all, management. What kind of boots did not run these plants.

    This is probably why they were conducted like this on any kipish, except for a hunger strike. ISO, so ISO. 1C, so 1C. Website, so website. Etc.

    Actually, these guys prepared a chic market for me. Where ISO was introduced, no one understood how to work. There were no processes before, the plant moved, even developed, and thought nothing bad about itself. And the ISO standard is the perfect way to create guilt out of the blue. They wrote some papers with processes for themselves, but they work according to a certain average scheme - the most important thing, like production, sales, supply, etc. they do as they always did, but any dregs, like contracts, agreements, etc., are done according to ISO.

    Those who work according to ISO periodically reproach the "Old Believers" for being stuck in the Stone Age. Everyone understands with their minds that you don’t need to work according to ISO, but the subconscious mind says - no, guys, you are just short-sighted, so you cannot work on processes. It would be better, of course, they did not know about ISO at all.

    Automation set the stage even better. Any software product, site, service at a provincial factory can be described in one word: under-implemented. Gentlemen who are engaged in automation do not want to notice this, although this is a huge market, if it is properly spud, it is up to them.

    But there is one feature: the product is under-introduced quite a bit. But in order to understand this, you need to delve into. But only a programmer can and only wants to understand.

    If you want to check whether an information system has been introduced at the plant or not, ask a simple question: show me a report that contains all the materials that are currently missing and purchased semi-finished products. It is important that it was in the system, and not in Excel, and not calculated by economists at the beginning of the month or week, and not entered manually (some do).

    If the answer is no, then the system is under-implemented. If you are a programmer, then you understand that before the victory there was only one step left - to collect all the data in one form. And the data is already there. The elementary task of distributing one table to another, taking into account the priorities of consumption and the interchangeability of materials, and voila - before you is a complete and accurate list of what you need to buy.

    But no one takes this last step. The supply manager does not delve into, just aching that something wasn’t automated for him. The director is already tired of listening to this, and simply does not respond. And the programmer does not care, because he is constantly watered with slop - a smaller bucket, a larger bucket, what's the difference? When you are watered with swabs, it is better not to open your mouth - you’ll choke. All have long been overgrown with feathers, like geese - it drains while you walk from a meeting to your hole.

    So, here it is our factory. It somehow works, but he himself believes that it’s bad. The processes are bad, there is no automation, there’s no use from the site, it’s a shame even to visit it yourself. If you go to the factory right at that moment, you can take them warm. But, unfortunately, this moment passes very quickly - a “fermented patriotism” of local scale is triggered.

    As a person gradually convinces himself that everything is fine with him, so does the enterprise, especially the director. At first, out of anger that nothing can be changed, even with obvious problems to cope. They simply give up any undertakings, and simply work as they can. Then comes humor, fueled by many funny stories about grief counselors, false silver bullets and failed change projects. This is where patriotism appears. It seems like we are what we are, and all this nonsense is from the evil one, and there is no sense from her.

    It is very difficult for the director of such a plant to sell any kind of consulting. Most likely, he will not even agree to meet with you. He has not read books and articles for a long time. He doesn’t go to the conference. Almost all the paths to his brain and soul are closed for consultants. And here I came up with an interesting solution.

    To understand its meaning, remember the movie “The Beginning” by Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. They know how to connect to a sleeping person, fall into his dream, and plant an idea for him. They themselves call this process "implementation." The bottom line is that after awakening, it seems to a person that the idea is his own, and not imposed from outside. Only in this case will he undertake its implementation.

    Of course, I don’t know how to enter dreams, but I found a way out. I plant the "idiot" at the factory - I have their whole division. The “idiot” is the IT director.

    Oddly enough, provincial factories like to hire metropolitan IT directors who, by the will of fate, find themselves in their vastness. Everything is thought out for us - we even make a local registration for him, come up with a legend, they say grandmother lives here, or always wanted to live closer to the river, or the unfinished downshifter (in the sense of continuing to work), and several more options. The main thing is that the "idiot" does not look like a Varangian, but seems to be his own.

    And so he comes to the factory, brings his diplomas, which I generously supply all the “idiots”, and he is happy to be hired. He has real recommendations, because between the "idiots" he works as a "savior" (more on that later), so that no HR will be dug up, especially the village one.

    Further, the “idiot” has a simple task - to be an idiot. Approximately like Prince Myshkin from Dostoevsky. I took the idea from the Internet book "Career Steroids" - there this method is called "Whooper", but I modified it - I have stupid clicks. Whooper is one who openly identifies enterprise problems, but knows how to solve them. This is a way to attract attention, and when it turned out, solve the problem with brilliance. A stupid whooper is not able to solve anything.

    Imagine a regular weekly meeting. The director asks everyone, in turn, how are you. Everyone complains about something, on trifles. For example, production points a finger at supply - there is not enough of one small part, which is why the product is not going to be assembled. Well, procurement missed, did not order on time. Usually everyone will keep silent, at most - they will put an order to the chief of supply, such as "take personal control." And our stupid whooper is raising his hand, and, like Makovetsky’s hero in The Twelve, he says - wait, friends, let's figure it out!

    And begins with a silly look to ask smart questions. How did it happen that a simple item was not bought. It’s all right, it’s difficult to carry it out of Korea, but under sanctions, otherwise they’ll do it in any garage. And because of this, production costs a stake. How could this happen?

    Since our "idiot" has been working recently, he is not sent immediately. They try to explain, but it turns out badly. The supply manager grinds something about the fact that people work in multitasking mode, they are constantly distracted, they don’t give money on time, and so the lender is big, everything keeps on snot. It comes to the point that the production manager begins to harness for him - he sees that the comrade is in an uncomfortable position. And our idiot sits, claps his eyelashes, nods his head, and asks new questions - suggestive. Helps unfold.

    As you understand, the main purpose of this interview is a director who sits and listens. He is not used to listening to such a conversation - it seems they don’t swear, and processes are discussing routine, but from an unusual angle. And he, gradually, becomes interested, because he himself has not asked such questions for a long time - since he became a patriot.

    The situation is repeated several times, in all kinds of variations. Finally, our "idiot" begins to piss people off - they stop making excuses, and go on the attack. Which was required. The “Idiot” immediately raises its paws, and tries to calm everyone down - saying that they attacked me, I just wanted to figure out the causes of the problems. I’m with you, we are one team, blah blah blah. He introduces a few memorized phrases, such as “problems should be openly discussed”, “if the problem is not identified, then it will not be solved”, etc. After such a retreat, he is almost always supported by the director.

    And now he is almost ours, the last step remains. The director begins to think that the "idiot" understands something, and can help solve those problems that he himself dug. A normal whooper will do that, but here, I remind you, a dumb whooper. The director calls him to talk, and asks - damn it, dude, you're cool, let's solve the problems of the plant. I’m only ready to work with you, the rest are sitting, they put their tongue in the ass, only they worry about their place. And you, I see, are not afraid of anyone and you can take responsibility, I will give you carte blanche.

    "Idiot" set the director against the team of other "fermented patriots", which was required. Now it should fail. He takes on some short-term transformation project, not necessarily related to IT, and fails. So that with a bang, noise and smoke. You can’t leave the impression that “almost worked out” - it should be badly straight.

    Here the equation is added up to the end. The director still remembers that he has a lot of problems at the factory. He still believes that the whole team is slabs who do not inform him of the difficulties, hiding them under the carpet. He still dreams of solving problems. But he already understands that no one at the plant will help him. Even the “idiot” is the IT director who helped him see the real picture. Most importantly, the director still remembers all the problems until a single one. Literally, he has a list in a notebook written down.

    Naturally, he dismisses the “Idiot” - for idiocy, of course. We ourselves bring him to this. It happens that the director takes off with dismissal - then our "idiot" plays the honest, and leaves himself - they say, I did not manage, I do not want to burden you anymore.

    And here he is - the moment. The director is warm. Here I appear. And with what - I'll tell you a little later. First about the programmer.

    It's not easy with a factory programmer. They, as a rule, play one of three roles - nerd, scumbag or do not care. Zadrot - the one who everyone yells at, is always to blame for something, doesn’t do a damn thing, he just wipes his pants. Fucker - he learned to show his teeth, so no one really gets to him, except for new leaders, goes about his business - like part-time jobs. The nihilist does what they say, even if they say complete stupidity.

    The result is one: the programmer does not do anything useful. Zadrot about this may not even suspect - once. The scumbag and the indifferent quietly, and sometimes clearly, chuckle at the incoming tasks, but they also do not bring any benefits. Programmers are even proud of this state of affairs - they say that we are smart, and the rest are fools, but we will not tell them about this.

    But I need a programmer, without it the result will be worse. Previously, I acted simply - my “idiot” honestly talked with him and talked about his “idiotic” mission. The result was deplorable - the programmer revealed the CIO. Basically, from fear, so as not to keep a secret within ourselves, for which you can then pay. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, I changed the intro for the “idiots”.

    Now they behaved worse to programmers than to fellow managers. More precisely, they were presented to them even more idiots, especially since it is not difficult - the programmer is smart. It’s enough to blur a few times some nonsense about automation, program code, refactoring, etc. Even better is to begin to put pressure on the programmer, arrange for him time trouble, external audits, and transfer arrows to him. To cause maximum self-hatred.

    I think you understand why. When the "idiot" begins to smell fried, the programmer is in the forefront of those who want to throw a drowning stone. But, if the rest are just gloating, the programmer wants to trample the "idiot" into the mud. And it is revealed, thinking that it gives out information "for the road."

    He honestly talks about all the automation problems that the "idiot" could not make out. He lists all the interconnections of people that impede the development of the company - whoever has a relative there, who’s by the foot, who poses the most idiotic tasks, and then does not use the results of automation, etc. Throws everything out, for the sole purpose - to show that he, the programmer, is smarter than the capital's CIO. One even wrote an article on the Internet.

    All this happens before the dismissal of the "idiot", and here comes his moment. The programmer no longer has time to think, and most importantly, the programmer has no reason to give out a secret. The CIO is leaving. "Idiot" honestly talks about his mission - either in person or by letter. The one who wrote the article also received the article in response. It doesn’t matter to us in what way, but the main thing is that the thought reaches.

    The idea is simple: you, a programmer, are doing nonsense, but you can do the job. Come to us. We will arrange a move, rent an apartment for a year, we will pay a decent Moscow salary, above the average capital.

    And most importantly - you will automate the company from which you quit. Only for a lot more money, in a team with experienced programmers, like you, and the same “idiots” who sometimes act as “saviors”. So far, no programmer has refused.

    Then everything is simple. While the "idiot" worked at the plant - and this is a maximum of six months - we received all the necessary information about the problems of the enterprise. We do not need a copy of the information system, or data - just know the version of the system and a verbal description of the modifications and executable processes.

    While the "idiot" is tormented, we are preparing a solution. As you already understood, it’s not some abstract “we will solve all your problems”, as other consultants do - a concrete, clear, contextual solution to the specific problems of a particular enterprise. The experience and best practices accumulated by us allow us to do this very quickly.

    If the factory has problems with timely supply - and this is 90 percent of our customers - we prepare and configure a special module for calculating needs. If the main trouble is cash gaps, we set up a system for their timely detection and prevention. If the pain of the plant is too long approvals, then we bring a customized process controller with a built-in Iceberg, and in addition - a motivation system, guaranteed to exclude process downtime. What is important - it takes us several days to do the work directly, not more. We do not sit for six months, picking at the code, because We know that the problems are almost resolved in the client’s information system.

    But we leave the cherry on the cake to the programmer. Between his move to us and my meeting with the director, usually no more than a few days pass. This period is enough for the programmer to combine the enterprise information system with the best practices we have prepared. Sometimes one day is enough, because our tools are abstract and easy to integrate, and the programmer knows the specific system better than anyone.

    Actually, here is my way out. I write, or call the director, and ask for a meeting. I have never been refused, because I choose the right moment.

    Now I’ll try to explain so that you understand. Each of you has seen contextual advertising on the Internet. You can roughly imagine how many people click on it. It’s not difficult - remember how many times you clicked. The rest is the same. Now remember when and which ads you clicked on.

    We omit the cases when you do not need the advertised product, it was just a cool banner - this rarely happens. I don’t know about you, but I click only if the product that I need at a given moment is advertised. The product without which I feel pain.

    For example, my tooth hurts. I have already taken the pills that I usually take for pain, but they help poorly. I can’t go to the doctor now, for a number of reasons. And now I see an advertisement - pills that are awesome to relieve toothache, and even relieve inflammation. Yes, I understand with my mind that I saw this ad because I recently searched for similar information in a search engine. But I don’t care, because I have pain - and I click on the advertisement.

    The same with factory directors. They are soft, warm, because my "idiot" caused them pain. Revealing old wounds, protracted by "leavened patriotism." I scolded them, asking my idiotic, naive, but beating precisely on purpose questions. He sprinkled wounds with salt, taking up the draft changes, and failing it. The director’s wound is not something that hurts - she sprinkles blood, not letting herself forget for a minute.

    Then I get out like contextual advertising. Hello, dear such-and-such, such and such, my name is King, I am from a company such-and-such, I can solve your problem with supplying warehouse No. 7. Or your difficulties with cash gaps on state contracts. Or reduce the terms for the agreement of contracts and CA from two weeks to one day. Do you understand?

    I am not Google, I do not need to work with the probabilities of getting into a problem. I hit not in the eyebrow, but in the eye. With specific posts, surnames, places, numbers, processes, products, etc. The effect is amazing.

    Especially when I retire to the IT department for half an hour, and then show the results on the plant’s information system. Usually it takes more time for the director to go there - he never remembers his username and password, because From the moment of installation almost went. And then he perceives everything as a miracle.

    Of course, he asks where the information about their problems comes from. With wide eyes I say that from open sources. Your programmers asked at forums, procurers consulted with my acquaintances, dismissed employees told at interviews in new places of work, etc. Full of places if you search.

    But the main thing is that we have tremendous experience in solving the problems of enterprises of your particular profile. Here it is already possible not to lie, but to list specific plants with directors' contacts. Often his acquaintances appear in the list, and after the call he will not go anywhere.

    We are launching change projects. The same “idiots” come to lead them, only from other factories, so that there is no need to rake a pile of accumulated grievances against a specific person. “Idiots” switch all the time - either downcast, then saved the plant. The resume is enriched quickly.

    The essence of the project, as a rule, is not in the development of some kind of technology, such as an IT system, but in implementation, i.e. restructuring processes, changing motivation, controlling new indicators, etc. Usually, no more than six months, we come with a ready-made system.

    And when it's done, we leave. Staying and pulling money out of the factory is not our method. The plant has enough charge, potential that we leave for several years of independent development. Of course, there will come a time when everything will stall, the swamp will grow again, and pain will appear. But here, not the consultants, but the Prophet will be needed.

    I wonder who is the Prophet in this factory? It would be interesting to hear his version.

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