I've worked with both large and small suppliers a great deal over the years - but it's the large ones that frustrate me most. 

Well over a year ago I invited one of the biggest to implement a WAN optimisation project for me. Months passed. Conference calls, meetings and emails came and went. Christmas came and went. Weeks became months. Yet no progress was apparent - there was a lot of talk and no action. Eventually my patience ran out and I told them where to stick their project; we then engaged a smaller organisation who got on and did the job in just a few weeks.

Then not so long ago I thought I'd give the original supplier another stab at working for me - a new project had appeared and it suited them well. On day one I made very clear, using short words and talking slowly and loudly, that I wouldn't tolerate the project becoming overblown, going one forever, and costing zillions. "We absolutely agree", they cried. And guess what? I've now binned that project too, because my simple proof-of-concept had snowballed into a vast monolith with an enormous six-figure price tag and an RoI calculation which, quite frankly, I didn't believe.

Being a patient sort, and working on a three-strikes-and-you're-out principle, I've just given them the chance of a third project. Let's see how that goes ...