On the horns of a dilemma
Sorting out the balance between standardization and quality
User: “Corporate is pushing a non-functional system on us. We’ll have to do more work, our costs will go through the roof and we’ll lose customers, don’t they realize this will be a huge step backward for us? Are they nuts?”
Exec: “These users are being total luddites, digging in their heels and dragging their feet. Don’t they realize the savings in efficiencies this corporate system will bring? It’s like they’re trying to put us out of business. Are they nuts?”
One of the most common political dynamics in the customers I deal with is the tension between corporate forces pushing standardization and business units advocating their specialized value-add solutions. This often manifests as the business or geography justifying the deployment and use of a “best of breed” solution while the corporate IT group promotes a standard solution.
What makes this a dilemma is that both sides are right. In fact, the ancient Greeks invented the concept of “dilemma” to literally cover the case where there are two good solutions to a problem, neither of which is incorrect. To choose one over the other means some compromise.
Setting the inherent politics aside, the two sides square off with the following arguments.