Recently I went to a computer store to pick up a Web camera for a project we were working on. Since their Web site showed one in stock (you probably see where this is going … ), I happily spent 20 minutes looking through every box they had searching for the particular model I wanted.
Finally, I admitted defeat and asked for assistance. The associate was much more adept at searching through piles of Webcam boxes, so it only took him about 6 minutes to determine they didn’t have one. When I mentioned their Web site said they should have one left, he responded something along the lines of how much he loved on-line real-time inventory (HA HA … NOT!).
In a previous post, I talked about the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” In business, no matter how well you craft a solution, if it’s not what the end-user wants, they’re not going to be too keen on using it.
Now, having said that, imagine you’re on the other side of this equation. You’re the horse (sorry) and you’re being asked to drink the water so thoughtfully provided to you.
The programmer you’ve been working with invites you to come down to see the fruits of his labor. You’re excited, he’s excited … even his Dilbert poster looks excited.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” An old saying and one you’ve probably heard many times before, but have you ever thought about it in a business context?
Over the years, my team has had a lot of success implementing new processes and taking advantage of technology to improve our company’s procedures. Unfortunately, we’ve also had situations where we’ve created solutions that have missed the mark. These misses can be very close (such as when an end-user just wanted us to move the location of a button), or so far away that it seems we’ve missed the target entirely (giving the user a “what were they thinking?” feeling).