I’ve come across the above while reviewing #NoEstimates discussion threads on Twitter. It is a thread I follow regularly but, of late, one I did not actively get myself involved in.
On this occasion, though, I felt compelled to react. I was completely taken aback by the statement ‘it costs what it costs’ and was wondering whether this is a serious observation, which – if you look for the thread – it appeared to be one.
By the by I came across a new HBR post titled “Consultants Should All Get Real Jobs”. The gist of this article is that consultants, whose time is spent on advising others what to do, should get their hands (and the rest of their body) dirty and get themselves involved in the real world so they can truly appreciate whether there is real value in their ‘expert’ advice.
The author, Scott Berkun, makes the following observation:
I challenge all consultants to spend some time — at least a year — back in a “real” job, working shoulder to shoulder with the same kinds of people who pay for their advice. So few authors and experts are willing to do this, because they’re afraid. They know it’s much harder to be accountable for a real team, in a real company, for a real project, than it is to critique and advise from the safety of the sidelines.
And here’s how this is relevant to our case:
It appears to me that many of those promoting or supporting concepts like ‘it costs what it costs’ have never applied this approach to their own money. They seem happy to experiment and play with other people’s money and are therefore blasé about basic issues of accountability, responsibility and adequate use of scarce resources.
And thus, in the spirit of Scott Berkun’s article, is it not time we ask all these people to demonstrate how they applied this very rule to their own business?
Think about it!