These consultants have a reputation for meeting deadlines, and they win the bid for a Web-based system for remote sales reps, according to a pilot fish working for the company that hired them.
And what they come up with is pretty slick. "They build a feature-rich system running on an open-source application server and an enterprise database management system," says fish.

"A month before rolling it out, they demo the system before the whole company. The demo is going fabulously until a salesman asks, 'What if our clients don't have an Internet connection in their office? How are we going to connect to the system and give our sales presentations?'

"For the next full minute, you could have heard a pin drop."

A month later, it's time to roll out the system -- and, sure enough, the deployment is on time, though it lacks the typical end-of-project party.

And one of the consultants looks pretty disgusted when fish asks how exactly they did get around the problem of running a Web-based system without Internet connections.

"We installed the app server on each and every notebook," consultant grumbles. "We installed the database system, too -- the personal version wasn't compatible, so we had to install the enterprise version.

"Now they have to come into the office every week and synchronize the database."