This is somewhat frustrating…
One consulting firm came in, looked at what we have done, made obvious recommendations without understanding all the current constraints (existing schedule and project obligations) or what it takes to get it done… And all of sudden, they all look like hero and management loves them!
I am frustrated because we need not to be that shallow. I can make recommendations or come up with ideas whole day long IF I don’t have to execute them. It is always easier to talk the talk than walk the walk.
“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell, Founder, Dell
My team is capable and did identify the exact same set of areas we could make improvements. Most of their recommendations are things we either already knew about and/ have talked about it internally for numerous time for months! We don’t talk about it externally or show that we already knew about it is because we know we can’t get to it yet! We need to focus on the tasks in hand!
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic,”Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
I designed, architected and built sites (in many cases, I even coded them). I don’t work for dotCom, I startup my own dotCom and it’s one of my deepest passion. Trust me, I know the importance of user experience but I also know if the site is not functional or without traffic, it just doesn’t matter how great the user experience the site has! No one will find it, let alone use it!
Don’t get me wrong, I believe the firm is totally a complement to my team and I totally get where my management came from but I just don’t agree with management’s thinking of that the firm is THAT much better than my team, it’s simply about prioritization (under the extreme rigorous scope control and funding process).
To make my case, I carved out the section of the site for the firm to make their recommended changes. After the initial assessment, the firm determined it would take them 4 weeks to make these changes… If I am given two FTE resources and not have to worry about the existing obligations and prioritization, I am confident that I can deliver the same recommended changes in under a week. But I can’t do that and I am obligated not to do that! I need to think and act strategically to achieve the organic hub vision I created when I first start this new role.
Anyhow, despite all the frustration, I actually love the firm! They get us! They totally get us! The firm is indeed a great complement to my team and they bring some great talents with them! Without their additional resources, I was only able to prioritize to give what my management need (more organic traffic which yielded more signup at lowest CTA) but not what they want (better UX, message better and convert better). Now, with the firm and all the additional resources brought on by the firm, I can give them both!