This year, for the A to Z Blogging Challenge I'm posting alphabetically on topics related to software development...
Last time, I talked about laziness as a personal motivation for doing a good job. Now I'm looking at another motivation for promoting good software that business should, but often don't, pay enough attention to.
Poor software costs money!
My department was building, module by module, an enterprise system. One of our departments had need of a system to manage electrical contracting work. We gave them a rough estimate for a simple system of $50k, which was basically our staff time at cost. This was in the days when that would get you a substantial amount of work for $50k.
"Too expensive," they said. A vendor dangled a baited hook in front of their eyes. They bit. "We can get a system that does everything we need for just $20k."
Long story short, the $20k soon ballooned into $100k once they took all the hardware into account, plus contract services to add in the bits that they needed that the system didn't do. And we spent the original $50k in our own time anyway, on interfaces to link them into the customer data and corporate billing system.
And the system still didn't work.
They spent months, and many sleepless nights in sheer frustration trying to get a problematic, bug-ridden system to do even the basics. They couldn't track work or invoice accurately. They lost business.
Eventually we had a window in our development schedule to help them out of this nightmare. Three months (and the promised $50k) later, they had a system that worked, integrated seamlessly, and did what they needed.
We were motivated to tell the truth in the first place, and to do a good job.
The original vendor had no motivation to do either. Being economical with the truth got them the work in the first place, and they were only interested in screwing what they could out of the one-off installation, not in a long term business relationship.
Motivation, for good or for ill, is a powerful beast.