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Find experts you trust, then trust them.

This year, I did the cooking for our family Super Bowl watching party. I had fun with the theme of an all-pizza meal. We had an appetizer salad that looked like a pizza - minced strawberries, spinach tossed in balsamic, and topped with shredded banana on a hand-made cracker. The entree course was a deep dish pizza with a Chicago-style crust. Dessert was two large sugar cookies - one looked like a pepperoni pizza and the other (pictured) looked like a sausage and green olive pizza.

I did the cooking in our kitchen, and then we moved everything to my wife's parents' house for the party. At around 3:00 p.m., my wife asked me when I would be ready to make the move. I told her 4:30 (they live near us, and the game started some time after 5:30). She suggested that we leave at 4:00. I said I would push to get everything wrapped up as close to 4:00 as I could. I noticed the clock in our car as we backed down the driveway. It was 4:30.

This story is similar to what we encounter in our real jobs here at Dialogs Professional Services. It is common for a customer to suggest making a change late in the process. It might be a change in how the project will be hosted, it might be a change in functionality, or it might be shortening the schedule. The change rarely comes in the form of a question like, "Would it be possible to go live in March instead of May." It more commonly comes to us as a decision.

I'm not simply grousing here. We do all we can to accommodate all requirements, even if they come in late. I just want to point out that trade-offs happen when someone without expertise makes decisions. Take the shifting deadline scenario. When we commit to a go-live date, we have taken into account all aspects of the project. We know how much testing will need to be done based on the complexity of the project. We know how long each piece of the project will take to implement, and we know which parts can be implemented concurrently and which are sequentially dependent. As experts, we see the whole picture. When someone without that full perspective changes the deadline, they don't consider that compromises will have to be made.

Back to the pizza party ... As it turned out, at 3:00 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, there was nothing I could do to shorten the go-live of our three courses of pizza. My assessment that everything would be ready at 4:30 should have been trusted.

Remember, the reason you hire experts is because they know things you don't. That's a big reason they're worth paying for. Once an expert earns your trust, go ahead and trust them. You will get the most return on your investment.

We have been helping e-businesses succeed since 1995. We know our stuff. Talk to us. We'll show you why so many businesses trust us. I'm also happy to share some pizza recipes.