One of our company values is responsibility. Anyone can take this to heart.... Here comes a little story that shows what we at Renuo mean by this.
- July 24, 11:49 A customer calls in. He noticed that a release date of another team in his company is a bit tight and asks us for help: «Request is very short notice, but maybe you have someone free right now. [...] Product launch is in September.» As a software agency, we get requests like this from time to time. People appreciate our straightforward and responsive nature.
- July 24, 13:44 We weigh in. Since we're busy but have good schedule reserves on some projects, we reply, «Cool that you thought of us! We'd love to help, of course.»
- July 31 14:00 We meet a week later to discuss the details of the project: A third-party provider of the client's software isn't sputtering and, according to the client, is unlikely to relent. We are therefore to write a small but critical piece of software to make up the shortfall. We agree and provide a cost estimate. At the same time, however, we recommend that the customer escalates to the third-party provider, as this would technically contribute to the best solution. In addition, the cost would be much lower that way.
- August 4 9:51 We haven't heard from the customer yet and follow up to see if our help is still needed.
- August 5 9:22 We receive a reply that escalation has not yet taken place. Since it seems likely that escalation will not happen, we take matters into our own hands. We implement a proof of concept.
- August 7, 16:06 We report the following to the customer: «We wanted to see if our solution could work, so we tried a few things over the last 1-2 days. [...] The whole thing is just a prototype. We can of course discuss improvements in more detail.» The customer can now test the proposal. In the worst case (i.e. if the third-party vendor doesn't respond on time), our customer could go live with our solution on the release date.
From this moment on, thanks to our approach, our customer's September release date is secured. We don't want to leave him with his pants down in case the third party really doesn't give in.
- 13 August, 10:37 The customer is satisfied: «It looks great to me! Thanks for being so proactive, really great!»
Then suddenly there is news from the third-party provider:
- September 3, 15:46 «Please excuse me for not getting back to you for so long – I had some discussions with [the third-party provider] in the meantime. As such, we will now no longer need your support.»
Initially, it seemed unlikely that the third-party vendor would relent. The fact that it has now done so is incredibly good for the technical quality of the project and keeps costs down for the customer. Nevertheless, it was a responsible decision that we secured the release date for the customer from August 7 to September 3. The only hitch is that we had an expense for this that the customer has to pay, even though our solution was ultimately not deployed at all. However, this is not a problem for our customer:
- September 15, 12:02 «Please send the invoice for the [...] development directly to me.»
In the end, it's like with parachutes: You buy them in the hope that they will remain unused on the plane.
Therefore: Dear customers, we will not let you take off without a parachute on board!