The Lion's Party
A lion was the Kind of a Jungle. He used to organize parties and invited his favorite friends from other species of animals. To pick his invited friends he used to request services from other animals and judge their performance arbitrarily without predefined criteria. When he wanted to exclude an animal from the coming party he claimed that he did not get exactly what he wanted from that animal and that he was not satisfied with the services provided to him. And he would say: "That's not what I requested" and punished the animal by giving him some extra work to do without rewarding him and never invited him to the parties.
Once he requested from a monkey to mimic the way a rabbit eats carrots. The poor monkey was trying to mimic how a rabbit eats carrots without using real carrots. The monkey was arguing that the lion did not say that the monkey has to use real carrots, but the lion was saying, "I meant that you have to eat carrots the way a rabbit eat it." And the lion punished the monkey by excluding him from the list of invited animals for the coming party. If the animal manages to perform well and the lion does not want him to be in the party he changes the formulation of his request and claim that the animal did not respond exactly to his request.
A smart animal was trying hard to overcome the situation and was thinking of a way to make the lion make his requests clear and make him accept that a third party records the request and all details related to it, so that the lion won't claim that he was not getting what he requested, if a given animal manages to respond to the request accurately. First the lion refused to agree to this procedure but once he find out that this was hurting his reputation and it's giving a bad impression of the way he governs the jungle he accepted the new procedure and start to go by what it dictates.
After the implementation of the new procedure all animals felt that they were pricked fairly and that there were no discrimination against any of them. They also worked hard to enhance their performance and go more productive so they can get the opportunity to go to the lion parties and enjoy being part of the elite invited.
Moral: A software development team might have a well established client that could be tough to deal with without signed agreements about what is that he wants and expects to get as a system. It's always wise to have a written and signed agreement that tie the two parties and goes in detail to what the client expects and how he wants it. The success of the development team would be then measured according to the specifications included in the agreement and any changes the client might suggest would have to be written and agreed on by the two parties.
These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.