this would make sense. They hire you to do a job, you do it, they change it, and change it, and change it, and change it and change it some more until it doesn’t resemble what you originally made based on what they asked for. Then they blame you for not making what they wanted even though they didn’t really know what they wanted and ask for what you gave them.
My wife has fallen into this “government employee” trap. Asking for one thing, expecting something else all the while having no idea what she was asking for and too stubborn to say so.
The chasm between what is possible, what is desired, what was asked for and what happened is oceanic in size.
That also describes escalating shipbuilding costs. The Navy contracts a yard to build a DDG then begin changing the specs. When the ship builder adds on the extra cost to make changes or additions the Navy and Congress blame the shipbuilder.
Old IT saying:
Well, you gave me what I asked for, but not what I wanted.
Toward the end of 2009, I was hired to be a GS manager for a government agency (defense-related). Three of the four members of the office had suddenly left, and there was some hinted turmoil as I walked into the job.
My job was to clean up a million-dollar renovation project. I won’t go into the vast details of the mess....but the general issue I came to after four weeks of review (figuring how to restart the project and complete it)...was that the director and staff were continually changing the requirements after we’d noted the requirement and budgeted the project. We were three months behind, and had wasted a quarter of the budget already by redoing portions of completed work.
I simply sat there at every subsequent meeting and refused to change anything. It was....as is. There was arguments, but in the end....nothing else changed, and a year later, we completed all of the projects.
The thing about project management...you lean toward thinking over the completed image...write the requirements...and double-check it before you budget the money and sign contracts. After that point....unless a wall fails, a pipe bursts, or termites are discovered...you don’t change nothing and complete everything as-is.
I will also offer this wisdom in life...when you sign on to build yourself a house....you do the same strategy...no changes in the scheme of the house or redesigns in the middle of the construction.
People need to think long-term and know the consequences of continual changes. Nothing is free, and once you squander your budget....you are screwed. In this case....$400 million is gone, with nothing to show for it. I’d personally fire the IT manager and project manager over this database platform. Neither are competent to withstand pressure from above, and neither did their job.
Note: I quit the gov’t job at the end of June because of continued incompetence that I saw within the government. Between that and sequestration...it’s a ship run by a bunch of fools...bound and determined to hit some iceberg. Nobody can practice budget control and project management.