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It’s Not Me, It’s You: Breaking Up with Your Legacy PM Solution


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Dear Legacy Project Management System,

I have struggled with this decision for a long time, but there is no other way to say––I’m breaking up with you. And to be even more frank, the sooner the better. 

For years now I have made allowances for your deficiencies, even to the point of thinking maybe if I changed a little bit more, we would fit together like we used to. But, then I realized, I’m not the problem––you are.

You need too much attention.

At first, you lived quietly on a server somewhere in the back room, but gradually your needs grew. Overtime, your software got bloated and you required more storage space, energy, and attention. You also needed regular upgrades, and that meant the hardware you love so much, also needed upgrades. 

A business today needs to be limber and flexible, but your lack of customization options forces us to continue living with the limitations you impose.

It seemed for a while that we had reached a plateau where we could coexist, but then the mobile world came upon us, and suddenly your needs grew again. I had to add special servers so people could log in remotely. But of course that also came with more cost and more demand for my time. 

Still, I think I could have lived with the way things were if it weren't for your growing security issues and demands. 

You became high maintenance with all of your hardware and software needs, and the never-ending upgrade spiral. Of course, through it all, I continued to think that if I just kept training everyone, adjusted and changed our processes to match your needs, and tried a little harder, that somehow we could forestall the inevitable, and maybe even get our relationship back to some form of normalcy. But, I see now that was just wishful thinking.

You drain my resources.

You probably don't remember this because all the upgrades have certainly obscured your ever-changing memory, but there was a time when you were barely more than a spreadsheet needing just a few megabytes of space on my hard drive. Back in those days, a few megahertz of processor speed kept you happy. But with each new upgrade came new demands. New demands for speed, new demands for space, and new demands for people to take care of all your needs. 

The thing is, all of these demands didn't necessarily come with improved service levels. In the meantime, I had to pay for support staff, and a growing list of annual maintenance and support costs just for your software. As your complexity grew, it took more and more training to keep people up to speed on getting the best use from you.

You just don’t keep up.

It seems every hour there is a new security issue that can potentially threaten my critical information, requiring me to patch you up quickly, and on short notice. I’d be willing to bet that if I saved up all the costs of keeping you updated and secure that at the end of the year I would have enough to buy a new piece of construction equipment, or add a new employee to perform a function that enhances the bottom line. 

Our construction projects are moving faster than ever, and technology is helping us keep up. However, you just have too many limitations. A business today needs to be limber and flexible, but your lack of customization options forces us to continue living with the limitations you impose.

Because you make us jump through hoops to do project cost reporting, we lose out on the advantages that come from looking at and analyzing cost data in real time. You have a disconnected maze for collaborating that causes us to miss critical deadlines on requests for information and specifications. We try to get by with your disparate document sharing tools, but it is getting more and more difficult to ensure that people are seeing the most recent and accurate information. We've also got a real issue with the level of transparency you offer. We need to track when people make decisions and who makes them, but we can’t do that quickly and effectively because you keep owner, architect, engineer, contractor, vendor, and subcontractor information in cumbersome silos.

So you see, dear legacy project management solution, the time has come for us to part ways. Don’t call me again because I’m on the rebound, and looking for a brand new PM solution in the clouds.