Setting a Course for Disaster

Paula Weber

"Our trouble started with a gentlemen’s agreement made on a golf course. With a simple handshake, our CEO agreed to implement a new billing system at Fossilized Systems. On the 17th green, two longtime best friends and golf partners informally agreed to an ambitious implementation of a billing system to be done within six months at a price of $2.5 million. The CEO of Fossilized Systems told our CEO, 'Buddy, we have ourselves a deal. Let’s get started as soon as possible. I’ll have that boy down in legal put together a contract, but y’all get someone over to our site ASAP and get going. Let’s not wait for the contract, since we both know that you and I are going to sign it. Send your project management boys down on Monday!'"

Step On It
This project could have stayed on course with these Project Accelerator topics:

Negotiating Contracts
Setting Expectations

Jon Weinstein of ACE Billings Systems shakes his head in absolute bafflement when he recalls what everyone now refers to as the "golf course deal." 

"I come from New York, and I’m used to the wheeling and dealing that takes place among executives on golf courses, but this was simply amazing. On Monday morning, five colleagues and I were at Fossilized headquarters in Austin, Texas, meeting with Mr. Hy …


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"What is the voice of song, when the world lacks the ear of taste?"

- Nathaniel Hawthorne

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