16 Nov 2009
I once worked on a site for a large financial company that was internally split into two top-level departments. And I mean split — if you phoned one side and asked about a product covered by the other then they’d know nothing about it, wouldn’t be able to forward your call, and probably wouldn’t even know the right number.
So there were some tensions when it came to funding and managing the web site as a unified online presence. One side provided most of the budget and was mostly in control, but when representatives of both sides were in the same meeting it could quickly degenerate into childish squabbling, especially over shared elements such as the home page.
One day they tentatively proposed a solution, an end to the wrangling, a fairer way to give each side their say. The big idea was to split the home page cleanly in two, with the precise position of the dividing line determined by the proportion of the budget supplied.
In the end, common sense prevailed and the split didn’t happen, but it was another reminder of the external insanity that can arise from internal politics.