Something Like Iocaine Powder

Battle of Wits from The Princess Bride

Battle of Wits Scene from The Princess Bride

I’ve mentioned before that I spend some time with young teenagers. It’s nearly time to pick the end-of-school-year movie. Some are voting to watch The Princess Bride yet again. Perhaps that is why during a recent discussion with a client I found myself thinking about Iocaine powder! In The Princess Bride, Wesley has developed a high tolerance to the poison and therefore, challenges “The Sicilian” to a which-goblet-has-the-poison battle of wits. But it is no contest, really, because both goblets contain Iocaine: so Wesley knows he will win.

We recognize that some of our clients start out with a lower tolerance for change. Some people think of change more as a poison than a remedy. So we try to encourage refinements, knowing that different clients accept change at different rates.  But there really is no choice: all progress contains change.

Some recent examples of our clients’ tolerance for change:

A new hosted client started using our Spitfire Project Management System just a few short weeks after signing on. They didn’t make many decisions—it was just a matter of loading up their contacts and setting up their employee/users.  They didn’t want to change too much right away. We will stay in touch with them to introduce new features as they become ready.

A much larger new client went live this past week. It was interesting working with them across a five-month implementation period, watching them make decisions about priorities and how to configure the system and set up workflows and templates. They were ready for some changes, knowing they can always make different decisions in the future.

Yet another client passed the third anniversary mark and then, ready for more change, decided to take advantage of some of our extensibility features in order to automate a monthly process of creating change orders and payment requests. Instead of a manual process taking days, the same Excel-based source data now drives the automatic creation of over 350 invoices and attachments in minutes. The best part is that the same business rules watching budget contingencies and approvals are all still in play, but now the staff and executives only have to deal with important exceptions.

Two more clients have recently signed on to take advantage of our cloud storage integration because they recognize the need to work flexibly with third-party project partners without losing the sanity and structure of their project management system. These clients have a higher tolerance for change and are always looking for ways to improve their business practices.

In the movie, Wesley is confident he’ll survive because of the tolerance he has developed. I believe we all survive better if we develop a tolerance for change and even more so, develop an appetite for change—a hunger to improve productivity.

If you are ready to learn about a project management system that changes as you do, contact us to learn more.

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About Stan York

Stan York (VP of Development at Spitfire) has been developing software for decades. Which means he's old enough to remember when punched cards where the state of the art UI. Stan makes no secret about the fact he often prefers data to people, so it should come as no surprise that he is an expert in databases and SQL server. If asked, he might admit he is an MCP, because he knows this is important to some people, particularly at Microsoft. The postings on this site are his own and don’t necessarily represent Spitfire's positions, strategies or opinions.

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