Habush Habush and Rottier

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Epic's Principles, Part 6

Epic's 13 principles
1. Do not go public.
2. Do not be acquired.
3. Expectations = reality.
4. Keep commitments.
5. Be frugal.
6. Have standards. Don't do deals.
7. Create innovative and helpful products.
8. Have fun with customers.
9. Follow processes. Find root causes. Fix processes.
10. Don't take on debt for operations, no matter how good the deal.
11. Focus on competency. Do not tolerate mediocrity.
12. Teach philosophy and culture.
13. If you disagree, dissent. Once decided, support.

Epic has a slide, so I guess that's got to count for something.

Seriously though, there's a fine line between having fun and frivolously wasting money. UGM walks that line nicely. There are loads of customer-centric events that (to me, at least) never appeared to be gross misuses of money. For customers visiting Verona's campus, Epic follows this principle pretty well.

However, for Epic employees visiting customer sites, fun with customers usually isn't a priority. While visiting Epic staff could suggest going out for a meal during lunch or after work, many Epic customers prefer that visitors' time be devoted more to resolving issues than extra-curricular socializing. Given various legal and ethical issues around vendors paying for clients' meals and vice-versa, the Epic employees that I've dealt with are doing the right thing, even if it's not necessarily following Epic's 8th principle.

Out of 8 principles so far, Epic's actually following 3 ½ of them (and two of those are gimmes).


  1. Don't forget about the rule that was changed to not allow for any reimbursement of a single alcoholic beverage even with dinner, which used to be permitted. Additionally, if you went out for drinks with your client after hours and the wrong people found out at Epic, you could get in trouble for it regardless of the number of drinks you had or how well-behaved you were.

    That's not to say that you need to drink to have fun with your clients, of course, but when you get invited to happy hours with your client counterparts, it can be awkward if you don't trust that you won't get ratted out or if you have to decline because you're just not comfortable because Epic frowns on it (I should mention here that Judy doesn't drink at all, so her thumbprint is all over this policy). When you hire young people just out of college, there's of course the potential for abuse, but the blanket policy is a bad way to deal with it.

    Not that there was ever much time to interact with clients outside of work anyway due to the mountains of work from your other clients waiting when you got back to the hotel.

  2. The fun thing is older customers have never really been updated with the alcohol rule. When I went onsite for one of my older customers, the analysts practically dragged me to the bar. When I was onsite filling in as a AM (as a TS) and helping move the implementation along, the medical director (who had been at a Kaiser site previously) was always joking about doing shots in the office for every report issue I could fix...

    1. The CIO at one of my customer sites said that they'd de-install Epic and go with Cerner if I didn't join them for Happy Hour.