This is long overdue and goes out to my buddies from the SSAS Class I taught late last year. Two guys from a company in Connecticut, I believe, came to the class and we were chatting about consultants who can tend to get a bad rap for putting in solutions and leaving.
By the way, this is why we structure our engagements and relationships to never leave a client hanging.
Ok so back to the story. The client had a large number of documents to process, and the consulting company had written an app to do so, but the app was difficult to configure and each document took about 4 minutes to process. This might have been ok except that there were overall 5 million documents to process and convert. The program had proven to not be the most efficient but it was all they had at this point.
So they called the head consultant and he came in, tweaked it a bit and took all morning to do so, then promised to show they them “Stapler Method” after they took him to lunch.
The largest problem was that the program prompted the user to hit next after each document, and somehow this was not changeable. ( I know ! ) So the guys were excited thinking this new method was some type of object model they could use to automate this. Instead, the guy came back after dinner and said “Watch this”.
He then proceeded to put a stapler on the keyboard to automatically hit the enter key to “automate” the process. This is not a joke, I’m not making this up and neither were they. This is a great real life example of how you should always have your consultants engaged in a prototyping engagement before the actual project work begins. Shameless plug would be something like our Business Intelligence Quick Start program !