In Creating Complexity Where None Existed, I noted that it's possible to
create complexity out of thin air.
wallowing in the supposed drama, one can turn the differences between
sales and service delivery into a hopelessly complex situation. A focus
on a manufactured "conflict" leads to the following question: "What are
the standard techniques for conflict resolution ?"
Techniques. Conflict Resolution.
there's no "conflict". Sales offers something. The customer may or may
not understand that offer. The customer commits to something. Sales
may or may not understand what the customer thinks they're buying. And
delivery has to fill in these gaps between what sales offered and what
the customer thought they were buying.
very simple. I called the lawn service, asking someone to mow my lawn.
But they didn't trim my hedge. No one asked me if I had a hedge. I
didn't have one when I called. I had it put in after I placed the order
for the services. Is this "conflict"? Does it require "resolution"?
Or, does it require that the folks selling the services on the phone and
the folks delivering the service have some smarter way of coping with
the inevitable differences of understanding?
trick to avoiding 482 words of drama (using code names!) to describe
sales and delivery is simple. Get Out Of Fantasy Land.
the real world, sales has one view of the order, and delivery has a
This is not news. Accounts
cope with this variability all the time. They ask people to create a
"budget" or a "plan". And then they measure actual expenditures against
the budget. Budgets changes. Actuals don't match the budget. This is
not "conflict". There's nothing to "resolve".
planned and actual and they're different.
real sales promise, memorialized in an "order" is one thing. This order
can change, of course, making things complex.
delivery on that promise, memorialized in an "invoice" is another
thing. The delivery may be done in "scramble" mode; folks struggling to
balance ability to deliver against promises made. Or, the delivery may
be done in a more leisurely pace; the work being fit in to a schedule
as time and resources permit.
Ideally -- of
course -- order and invoice match. In reality, they don't always match.
the invoice is sent, someone needs to be sure it matches reality;
someone has to affirm that the work was actually done. It may not be
what the customer ordered, in which case there will be issues to
But there is not "conflict". There's
no "drama". We don't need to assign code names ("Flintstones",
"Rubbles") to sales and delivery.
we don't need to impose a weird legacy software world-view on something
as simple as order, delivery and invoice. Sales has orders. Delivery
has invoices. Hopefully, sales order changes get to delivery in time to
adjust what's really happening. Some has to look at the mismatches and
exceptions to determine what the consequences are. Maybe the customer
gets a credit. Maybe someone sales is over-promising. Maybe someone in
delivery, is under-delivering.