Get With Reality

Last week I dialed into a conference call on all the open trouble tickets in our software suite. The customer wanted to know where we were with each of the tickets since this week is the last week of the contract for our company. So I went through the open tickets, and identified those that will not be fixed by the time our contract ends. I said that I was familiar with the problems. And I am also very familiar with the level of effort required to resolve the types of trouble tickets we had. And I guaranteed that these would not be fixed before we leave.

Now I did not want to be a jerk. But I also did not want to mislead the customer. So I gave some background on the types of the problems and why they took so long to resolve. I also said that we would continue to work the problems and try to make some progress. However I was sure that we would only be in the beginning phase of research for all the problems by the time our contract ended and our company stopped working on the project. After the conference call, my project manager came to me and asked whether the customer had got back with me to confirm their acceptance of my statements. I said no.

This morning I got a call from the Help Desk of the new company that shall be taking over the maintenance contract for this project. I was asked whether the customer had approved the plan to transfer the trouble tickets to the new maintenance contracting company. I said no. But I also pointed out the reality of the situation. The problems are not getting fixed this week. The user needs these problems fixed. And their company is taking over the maintenance contract. So approved or not, they needed to get ready to work these problems.

I guess since we are dealing with a customer that is a government organization, there is a tendency to want to follow some type of process. And there is also a desire to get everything approved by the government customer. However there comes a time when you need to face reality and take action. This is one of those times. You can try to hide. But reality will catch up with you. It is better to face it and deal with it now. New contractor, you have been warned. The end user and I both want these problems to be fixed. You won the contract. Now it is up to you to get busy.