Michael Lodge – follow my PODCAST
When you are starting a new business or a project the first two meetings should be with your attorney and accountant. Why? Because at the beginning of anything you want to know what your risks are and if you have all of the legal issues out-of-the-way for risk management issues.
I will give you a good example. Over the weekend I was having lunch with some friends who are like a brother and sister. We were talking about my friends work with the federal government in implementing new software for mental health part of the healthcare system. She is a programmer / project manager on a project to automate the medical information between many different users. The project has been going on for a year and millions has been spent on this project by the federal government. However, my friend who has been out in the real world just joined the team on the project. She asked one question – who has the legal liability on this project? What happens if one item doesn’t work or is not fast enough to update the patients information on medication. What happens if information does not populate the system timely and medicine is given to the patient that kills them? Who has the legal responsibility and have you brought in legal? The answer was that no one from legal had looked at the process being developed and when they were finally brought in they were pissed off. The project team were developing a project that has a big risk issue because you are dealing with patient lives. The other project managers were shocked that they even had to think about risk as they sat at their desks inputting code, they never went beyond their jobs and asked the most needed questions. Project managers should know the questions to ask when working on a new system or project. Who has the risk and how do we counter the risk.
So the point is – that when you are starting a company, developing software, or any other kind of business concern you are working on, the first question is what is my legal risk. What am I developing that has risk and who will be responsible for that risk. Just one lawsuit can crumble any company or project.
The first part of developing a new company, project, product or service – call in your attorney and your accountant. That should be your first call.