They often start with the statement “By the Way…”, or another flavor is the “While you’re here…”, or maybe the “I was thinking…” flavor — they are in a class of communication sometimes laced with peril, sometimes opportunity, and sometimes just a lot of work — but ALWAYS revealing! In my experience I find that after a barrage of “By the Way”,s at a clients it takes me a bit to recover. “What just happened?” is running through my mind, followed by “Did I get everything done that I needed to?” Usually I need to reflect upon the “By the Ways” after a period of decompression.
Today I spent 5 hours at a client site and since I was prepared for the inevitable “By the ways” I was not taken by surprise when they came. One thing I love about “By the Ways” is how the question or comments following them reveal the needs or desires of the client user community! These expressed “By the ways” may indicate shortcomings with the network, application or processes themselves. Regardless of their nature on any given visit, it presents an opportunity for the service provider who is keyed into hearing the needs of the client their servicing.
A provider can leave a “hero” — who wouldn’t want that? For the developer hero they may provide new work as the “I’ve been thinking…” becomes a “Let’s do it!” Perhaps a better title for this post would have been “Be Aware of the “By the Way”,s