Vendors: followup meeting

You’ll recall that I discussed a delayed project a couple days back. We held the followup telecon this afternoon, and seem to be making progress.

We have an agreement: Both applications need modification. The vendor app must kick off a crucial activity at the end of the process workflow by sending a message to the web app. The web app will act on that trigger, with some variation according to the information in the message. The technical details still must be settled, but the meeting was largely concerned about organizational details.

  1. The vendor knows where the code has to go, and has a general idea what it should look like. They don’t, however, have anyone experienced with the transport mechanism (it’s MQ) we’ve agreed to use. (Long story. Some other time….)
  2. Similarly, the vendor lacks a test environment with MQ installed. Our recent purchasing hold may complicate fixing this.
  3. The proposal shaping the discussion was that an IT coder write the MQ connection code as a script or component to be launched by the back end application. One of the IT coders has the necessary expertise, but his bosses are unenthusiastic about donating code to the vendor’s app. We also have some discomfort with this solution. We need it clear which programming team is responsible if something breaks.

In the end, the meeting agreed that the IT coder would be assigned to consult with the vendor’s coders about MQ connectivity. He believes the vendor will be able to easily repurpose some code they’ve already written. The resulting product will clearly belong to the vendor, and we’ll all be (more or less) happy. We’ll be billed for the consultation. It will be separate from the programming bill we’ll receive from his section.

We’ll get this app out the door yet. I think.

A Meeting Detail:

Today’s negotiations were mainly handled by a Jamie, a young programmer who was originally hired for web projects but who’s now working elsewhere. He asked good questions, insisted that folks contribute to the discussion, suggested things we needed to consider, made sure we all actually agreed to the solution, and carefully noted who’d taken responsibility for each specific issue. Although it looked for a time like we’d need to pull in some folks with more clout, things came together and we reached an agreement. Extremely well done.


Tracey, the vendor’s PM, was late to the meeting; after she caught the drift of the discussion, she took her staff off-line for a few minutes and came back with the basic proposal we ultimately agreed to. She’s very good at this stuff.

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