I have settled down in my home town (after hectic traveling and consulting for over a year and a half) and now started on a new project in my home city.
While working on my outstation work I came across various kinds of people/specialists/consultants and the experience was worth while.
The project was funded by a developed country (Internationally Aided Project) for improvement of physical infrastructure in two cities of India.
I have waited for the project to end (technically speaking) and am posting my observations now. And these are purely as a result of the learning point of view I took and also to elicit reactions or similar experiences from other cyburbians. It definitely attacks the way some people worked and not to forget the fact that it did affect the work and many people lost sleep due to the inefficiencies of others but its my comments are not personal and purely professional.
Majorly a study and assessment project we were supposed to also come up with a plan within two years.
Unfortunately there was very efficiency reached especially on the GIS.GIS is well known to have the potential to become the core of any work whether it is planning, development/implementation, management and feedback.
Knwoing this we ran into numerous issues, the primary reason being the incompetency of the GIS development consulting firm (s). There was too much resistance in sharing the data during the process of planning (a very critical input stage for keeping the plan robust and flexible and open to strict testing from the various variables).
Basic mapping companies were trying to do GIS development ( no harm if they had had the competency, a question raised by many colleagues)as well as Applications without consulting the other domain specialists in the team.
Without consulting the end user, applications were being developed and without a plan how the systems would be sustained.
Most of the people in the team seemed to care very less about these issues and it looked like a racket (consultant interested in doing their time and filling their own coffers).
With the end user local governments having little knowledge of these issues and also showing low interest in testing the proposed systems, it all seemed to be working well for the companies.
There was lack of basic understanding the development of GIS as well as its application specific to the users.
It looks strange that these might have been happening for quite some years. If any of you ever wondered where the all the decades of foreign funding is going in third world countries. Probably this explains…
So have you come across GIS companies which:
• are incompetent (can be easily seen and this was the feedback from most consultants about the private company-subconsultant for the GIS aspect)
• stretch work because they can keep getting paid.
• don’t share methodologies because of getting caught
• Don’t share the results of surveys and the resultant GIS
• Want to develop everything under the sun without even the basic technical qualification backing them up
• Massively fudging data/results to keep people confused/seemingly happy and satisfied.
• Are totally and aggressively closed for any third party inspection of process and result.
And still get away with it and thrive as by the time the things are seen and tested they are far away in the big world economy trying to do another similar coup.
This is not a rant but a very unbiased observation. The project was good for me personally from all angles but from the end user point of view and also from very very basic professional practice ethics was very flawed.