A funny thing happened the other day.  The 17 year old grandson was helping my lady-wife hook up a VCR (remember those?) to a TV.  Now, the story is, the lady-wife has a “studio” where she makes quilts and other fabric stuff.  She wanted a TV in the studio, with a VCR so she could play some of the instructional videos for techniques she hasn’t tried.  Now, since she has a large collection of VHS tapes, her plan was to simply hang on to them and play them on the “old” TV with the “old” VCR hooked up.

Well, the dear grandson looked at her TV and VCR and the cables and pronounced “this will never work.”  It seems that she needed a converter and completely different set of cables to make the TV worked.  Her response was simple, “I just want to watch some videos.”

“But it won’t work like this.  You won’t get any channels.”

“I don’t want to watch TV, I want to watch some videos.  That’s all.”

“But everything is digital now.  This won’t work without the right antenna and cables.”

“I don’t want to watch anything on TV.  I just want to watch some videos.  That’s all.”

“So, you don’t want to watch TV?  Just watch some movies?  Oh.”

Now, how many times do you have conversations where the IT/Development/Lords of Software “KNOW” what the users want to do?  Have you ever dealt with folks who KNOW they know the business better than the people doing the business?

Yeah, I’ve dealt with them, too. 

I remember one Very self-Important Person who told me flat out that “We drive technology and they don’t know what the technology does or why they need a new system to replace what they have.”  I asked “What problems are they having that we need to change their systems and all their business processes?”

I was told that I clearly did not understand what their mission was or what my role was.  I was working as a Business Analyst at the time.  I knew then that I clearly did not like the idea of Lords of Software running a business because the people who are supposed to run it did not understand technology. 

The moral of the story?  Remember who is the servant and who is served.