When those outside the daily work routine make decisions for end-users, they had better include them.
Having experienced, as an end-user, my share of tech rollout horror
stories, I feel that I’m in a good position to weigh in on the matter. And if I
can help even one IT manager see the error of his or her way, then I’ll feel
Here’s the scenario as I see it in my mind’s eye. The CEO/CIO tells the
IT manager/director that the company needs a new cms and to go out and find the
The IT manager/director does some research as to what’s out there, meets
with some vendors and comes back with three choices:
The most expensive app
The cheapest app
- The app with the most features,
particularly that one feature that is really awesome (as one charismatic vendor
explained) but that happens to be something the end-users in the company
would never have a need for.
The IT manager slaps the choices on the Wheel of Apps:
They spin the wheel and make a selection.
So what's missing? Nowhere in this scenario is
there any kind of fact-finding or data-gathering with the end-users, those who
will actually be using the product. I
don’t know what kind of tunnel-vision prevents the decision-makers from
seeing the value of end-user input, but I suspect it’s mostly budgetary. And
it's also very short-sighted.
Omitting the fact-finding upfront ends up costing the company more money
in terms of lost productivity while training and down-time while addressing
bugs (also known as old features that no longer work or new features that aren’t
If you want to really align with business, then the line goes both ways.
Consider how a product is used before you make a decision about a new one.