what specific and unique problems are you trying to solve, or opportunities are you attempting to capitalize on?

Specialist

Someone that is highly skilled and has extensive knowledge in a specific subject

Not too long ago I was having a conversation with the controller of a company that was implementing new software for their business. During the discussion he told me the company they selected was a large, publicly traded firm. The software had been around for a while. He was attempting to be positive with his description of the experience, and the complexity of the organizational change management involved, and all the moving pieces, and…Then he said, and I paraphrase here, ‘the company we are working with has assigned all these specialists. We have one for data, one for integration, a project manager, a BI specialist, a payments specialist, another one for enrollment, and…’ then he said, ‘it’s quite impressive how much expertise they have.'

I didn’t have the heart to ask him the rhetorical question-- What's wrong with the software that you need so many specialists? Instead, my mind created the following stream of thoughts:

Did you buy software to improve the general health of specific areas of your business or to turn the organization on its head with all these specialists running around at the same time with conflicting agendas and prescriptive approaches that are confusing everyone in their path? Why do you need a clinic full of implementation specialists telling you what’s wrong with your business while charging you for long term project plans based on waterfall methodologies that will take you to a land of irrelevance when compared to the context of your dynamic business realities? Sign me up for leech therapy.

The real question is, ‘what specific and unique problems are you trying to solve, or opportunities are you attempting to capitalize on?’ because you need results now. Not twelve, eighteen, twenty-four, or thirty six months from now. The world will change faster than the specialist’s knowledge can be applied.

Your business is a collection of stories. Each story has a desired outcome. Those stories should be listened to and reflected back to you with understanding. You should not have to attack them en masse. You should be allowed to approach each story (problem or opportunity) in two week sprint cycles that are minimally disruptive to your business and deliver rapid incremental value with controlled investment. A pace you decide. The stories you’ve written.

The good news is that you can purchase great software from a company that wants to hear your stories and will allow you to choose which ones are the most valuable to your company. You’ll carry out only what is necessary. We believe in happy endings.

A little Vitality goes a long way.

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