Technology is supposed to free up our companies to better/more efficiently serve our customers. Every so often I see companies that are being held hostage by their technology… and it’s not pretty.
It looks something like this:
1. The technology developed has not helped the business grow or serve the customers significantly better
2. An over-investment in technology and the ongoing support of the new technology undermines the profitability of the company
3. New technology priorities are planned in order to dig out of hole #2
4. More development staff are hired
5. Repeat #1
So what’s the solution? Stop. Drop. And roll.
STOP the development train.
DROP the belief that we think we know what our customers will want without asking (or have heard only from a few).
ROLL forward only after REAL feedback from prospects/customers as to what new planned technologies will make a SIGNIFICANT difference in their usage/purchasing decisions.
Then go on a technology “fast” of sorts. Narrow the project list down to just the 1-3 things that will REALLY make an impact. Purge the rest of the projects on the list. Then figure out the minimum development team necessary to implement. Once you feel ultra lean, use that new space to truly hear the voice of customers again. Then implement lightly and with a new heightened sense for where the REAL technology value is for our customers.