Understanding clients

I was called for a gig by a sacco to set up their accounting environment. Since there are ready made sacco systems out there, we suggested we go for one and they blatantly denied and said they need a new customised system with their specifications and mode of operation. Sisi ni nani, tukaingia coding interface and linking na db. The work was in two phases, phase 1 db set up, which was competently done by a team member. We even advised them to buy a server and host the system in their offices since power and internet were never much of an issue, which they did and the db hosted therein and put online for manual insertion of data as we work on the interface (Phase 2).

Sasa shida ikatokea, as we were busy spending sleepless night doing our things, they had engaged another team to go ahead and install their (off the shelf) system. The team just comes with a flash disk, installs and customises the system with name and logo, do a few training and walks away. We tried to even deter them how expensive the system will be in the end with bandwidth restriction, database size limit restrictions, daily allocation of bandwidth, email account restrictions and stuff, lakini wapi.
Anyway tunarudi meeting Friday, tulishaweka db yetu offline sasa hiyo server yao imebaki hapo kama ghost.

Anyone who has ever come across such a scenario? How did you handle it? The only thing that was remaining in the one we were coding was generation of receipts and some minor tweaking. Inauma saa zingine.

Finish the work, give them a month trial period… on condition that you sign a contract and revise your fees upwards

The client is always wrong. The moment u embrace that concept your problems will be solved easier.

Did they pay upto where mumefikisha?

Kuna clients hujifanya kujua, then when shit hits the fan, the come back crying. Advise them accordingly, let them choose what they feel suits them.

First phase still not yet fully paid

If they give me a listening ear, well and good.

Did you have any written contract/commitment?

Yeah, sasa hata hatuna haraka coz liability ni yao, though they have wasted our time big time, given their requirement were very demanding.

You should have a written contract and legal entity should be involved if possible.it should not be that casual

Then whatever was done should remain null and void on your side.
When you go for the meeting, don’t bring up this issue.You should opperate as as if nothing happened.
Don’t fall for the trap ati’tuone yenyuvenye itafanya’
Therefore, if you need to format and comp-which i usually do with prejudice when such happens, do it.
Also, be very clear that, 2 systems can’t exit in the same environment, infact it’s a big compromise.If they want fail over, they should ask you to provide.

They made us have the knowledge of the new system, in a not very friendly manner, given one of us in the team is directly involved with them them as their IT guy. So they needed access to the organisation systems for installation. It is even more like a betrayal to the guy.

So long as kuna binding contract in place, malizia kazi and submit with expectation for payment. Ikikosa then the legal way will do so long as umetimiza your end of the deal

This is very important.

Kuna possibility someone from inside ako na interest na ndio ali install the system

definitely, and we have identified him. Alizusha while we were installing the security cameras mwaka ikianza

Use that as your bargaining chip…it’s a good thing you have a contact in place.

That’s why i have said, DON’T even discuss how bad or inefficient that other system is, this pits you vs the other.
Completely disassociate, Clients use this to renegotiate or even do away with whatever you’re offering.
Bring honor to your work by standing your ground. Actually, have an invoice and payment commitment mkienda.Hapa mtarukwa if you don’t stick to your guns.
We have seen this far too many times.

For routine software like accounting, off the shelf is much better option…

With your custom thing, it will take years to stabilize and they will have to rely on you to come fix the bugs and upgrades. Which is a big risk since you can get hit by a bus or decide to get a busy job or leave the country

Also, in this day and age, never build an on-premise system focus on cloud hosting your software

Be wary of things you put on social media boss. if such post falls in the hands of your detractors your goose is cooked.Unless you’ve twisted the story to make less obvious