E-comm survival guide

Here’s one that may sound familiar. A guy from the marketing department knocks on a network executive’s door. “Hey, we’re setting up a Web site, and we’ve got vendors coming in five minutes — want to join us in the conference room?” the marketing guy asks.

That’s a true story told by Linda Rossetti, CEO of EMaven, a consulting firm in Boston. Unfortunately, situations like this are all too common.

Never mind the Sharks and the Jets. Today’s rumbles are between the Chefs and the Plumbers.

The Chefs are from the marketing department. They’re liable to whip up an e-commerce effort with little planning, less notice and absolutely no knowledge of the project’s technical ramifications.

The Plumbers are the network executives. All too often, they’re not called in until there’s a catastrophe — the Web site gets overloaded by sudden demand that should have been planned for but wasn’t, or marketing demands a thousand and one new ways to slice and dice data.

The Chefs taunt the Plumbers: “Just make it work, OK?”

The Plumbers close in on the Chefs: “You gotta be kidding. If you’d called us in earlier, we could’ve avoided this mess.”