The joke “If … Made Toasters” (here is one of many variations) has been circulating and evolving on the Web for quite a long time. The first time I read it was at least 10 years ago, but once in a while I still receive it in my inbox. Since we’re always looking for something different, I’m taking the initiative and starting a new topic in a similar pattern—how do people in different regions select software?
The United States (US): In order to select software, Americans need a lot of time and talented people to create derivative selection instruments, key performance indicators (KPIs), and even standards for software selection. After that, they will outsource the rest of the work to China and India.
Germany: In order to perform the most precise software selection, the German selection engineers have developed a selection model that includes 100 modules with 1,000 selection criteria for each module. This selection model gives the best results in the world. The only problem is that the cost of selecting the software is usually higher than the price of the software being selected.
Japan: The Japanese adopted some software selection methodologies that were originally created in the US. These methods weren’t popular in the US at the time, but the Japanese managed to use these methods to make their selection processes very lean. They also invented a portable device called “Selectman” that can perform 50 selection projects using two AAA batteries.
China: Although China is not the best in the world in terms of selecting software, it receives massive amounts of selection contracts outsourced from all over the world. When foreigners complain: “can we find any lousier software selection service?”, the Chinese will showcase the selection projects they have done for themselves, which are even worse.
Canada: The Canadian method is endless: when eventually the decision is made, all three competing vendors are chosen because the Canadians don’t want to make anyone feel bad.
I’ll stop here and let you provide other possibilities. Please add the regions you want to write about in the comments and let’s see how long the list can be.
In Eastern Europe the main criteria when selecting Business software is: can it manage bribe? How do I track how much of my profit goes to an offshore account, to the local mafia or to government agencies (not to their budget, but to their president’s pockets!)
I’m glad you mentioned this, my boy!
At the North Pole, no one does software selection yet, but wait until the ice melts and they start drilling for oil!
In México, the main criteria for IT managers is to travel a lot looking for the right solution, check many vendors (fancy hotels, free drinks, etc.), make a lot of reports, and finally…
let the CEO to decide.
In the middle east, this is how it is working:
1- they will have a selection process to select the selection consultant.
2- They bargain with the selection consultant for 1 year to make sure that the selection project is done in a a month.
3- Then It takes them 3 years to negotiate the contract with the vendor.
4- Once they know everyone is ready, they cancel the project because it took too long to go through the selection and eveyone is affraid of the implementation.
My 2-part series on how they do it in the Balkans
Being a Colombian, I can tell that we will buy what a better software version from our neighbor’s, independently of our needs.
Re: the U.S., I like how Mahan Khalsa stated the process in “Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play”. He said, “Companies send out requests for proposals that, under penalty of dismemberment and death, refuse to allow any human being to talk to any other human beings. They ask us to fill out hundreds of questions, whether they seem relevant or not. Their problems have been developing over years, and they want you to respond in two weeks. Don’t do anything different from what they tell you to do, or you are disqualified. And don’t differentiate yourself; they want you to follow the rules. They say they want to keep a level playing field. If you have questions, if you want to better understand their needs, it’s all in the RFP.”
What an excellent illustration of dysfunction!