I Am An Old Dog!
The first time my friend told me about the site Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/), I thought “that sounds like a colossal bore and a huge waste of my time.” I checked it out, read a few tweets, confirmed my suspicion and moved on. Now, I work in software and I think I’m just about as savvy as the next girl, but I just wasn’t getting the Twitter! A constant stream of random thoughts by random people; what’s the point? (Here’s where the Old Dog part comes in.)
Enter FAVRD (http://www.favrd.com/). This is like a turbo add-in to Twitter that brings you the cream of the crop tweets each day; a veritable gold mine of snarky humor. (Here’s where the New Tricks part comes in.) I was hooked in about 2 minutes and 19 seconds.
We are bombarded with a constant flow of technology designed to help us work, make us laugh, make us cry, make us stare in disbelief, connect us with friends and family, and so on. Thinking of the social networking field alone I can think of a handful of sites in a quick second (MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Tribe, Plaxo, LinkedIn…). It’s a lot of change happening and fast. Even my 23 year old son rejects a fair amount of the technology coming at him; thankfully he has developed his time management skills to be wary of time wasters.
This year I made a promise to myself to thoughtfully consider the value of each instance of technology that I’m faced with. What is this technology going to add to my life? Will it help me manage my time so I have more time to spend with my kids? Will it save me money? I guess what I’m really doing is kind of like a mini WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) analysis every time I’m confronted with a new web gadget. This is a change management tool we use frequently during Service Optimization implementations. When we are rolling out a powerful tool such as ClickSchedule, the stakeholders within an organization may feel that they’ve been handling the current workload well, what is this new tool going to do for them? A common question we hear is “will this add work to my day because I will now have to manage this tool as well as the schedule and the people?”
I’ve been in software for a while, and I can honestly say that I’ve never heard of a company that set out to design a product that would make someone’s job worse. That said, we all know it happens in software implementations that after go-live the end users are less than delighted. So how do we make sure that people are going to get value out of a new tool? The first place to start is by understanding the pain points they have now (come on … everyone has at least one or two!). Second, design an holistic solution that wraps the functionality of the tool in well thought out business processes. Last but not least, clearly and repeatedly communicate the message to the stakeholders that the holistic solution is designed for them, with their input, in order to help and not hinder.
P.S. Don’t get hooked on FAVRD like I did!