Late one night this week, my manager told me to go meet with the customer. They wanted to review some of their long range goals for new features in our application suite. Normally the requirements analysis team performs this function. However our requirements people are new and do not know the existing system.
So I take the train down to our customer's site. I have never been to this location. I wander around the city a bit. After asking for some direction, I arrive at the building. I show them my badge, which was issued by the customer's organization. That badge is good enough for the guards to not give me the shake down. However I still cannot get through any doors in the meeting.
I was pleased to meet the customers. They all seemed very knowledgeable about their business. And they had a lot of ideas about how they wanted some new programming done. I tried to keep them focused on their business requirements. So I assured them, that given a clear set of business requirements, we could design anything they want given enough time. In the contracting business, time equals money. Unfortunately, this customer said they did not have a lot of money right now. But they would work on getting whatever was needed to make the changes happen.
Here was the funny part about the meeting. Once I started giving them some rough estimates on how much some of these rewrites of the existing system would cost, they started looking for ways to save. They thought that if there were some parts of the system that were similar to their needs, they could get a discount. The top customer there said this was just like shopping with coupons. That comment was good for quite a few laughs.
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