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Are you a flake?

Andrew Neitlich

It never ceases to amaze me how many flakes work in the IT world. Yes, flakes.

Just this week, I’m ready to hire an IT firm to get started on a project. We agree to kick off the process on Wednesday. Do they show? Do they communicate? No. They eventually send a note saying they will be ready to start Monday. Flakes!

Are you a flake? If any of the following apply to you, others may perceive you to be a flake:

– You show up late for meetings

– You are late with deliverables

– You make excuses, like you had a technology or Internet glitch, to explain lateness

– There are constant mismatches between what you and your client think you are delivering

– You have inflated your resume to get a job (meaning you may not be qualified for that job, but aren’t willing to be open and honest about your qualifications — something that is extremely common in tech, and especially Silicon Valley where I used to check references for IT folks)

– Your clients complain about how long it takes you to get things done, even if your quality is eventually good

– Fundamental flaws are discovered in your applications, things like security breaches, that your clients should assume are taken care of (sort of like airline passengers who assume the plane will land safely)

– You tend to blame more than 25% of your clients for “not getting it.” (It might be you who doesn’t get it).

– During the sales process, you don’t provide professional documents on time, as agreed. If you don’t put on a professional show during that process, what will the client assume about your real work?

– You rarely hit your deliverables on time, budget, or expected quality, and so clients begin to smirk when you tell them you will create a project plan; in other words, you have no credibility with them.

That’s a partial list. How many apply to you? I hope none.