This morning I sat down with a practice manager of a successful IT professional services firm.
Our time sheet system stinks!
During our discussion she happened to mention that the timesheet system they were using is terribly antiquated.
- She told me that there were problems with ASP and supported versions of IE and more.
- She also mentioned that she really wasn’t able to leverage the data in the system because the reports did not work in ways that were helpful.
She needs new timesheet software, right?
What does she need?
Yes, she does, but that is not what she wants to buy. She has a business problem: she can’t get the right information out of her current system to make good business decisions. She can’t use current browsers so she has to spend time trying to figure out how to put data into the current system. This is wasteful.
It’s about her business problem
Does she want to buy software? No she wants a business problem solved. She wants it to be faster to enter information and she wants quality reports to help her make good business decisions.
There is no doubt that the only way she can get what she wants is by hiring smart geeks to write good code to solve those problems.
Your work as a geek is necessary, but not sufficient. You see, customers don’t buy tech. They buy the things that technology will give them.
She is ready to buy something that will give her more time, and give her better information fast.
How much does it cost?
- She doesn’t care how hard it is for you to do it.
- She doesn’t care how expensive it is for you to create it.
She has a business problem and a budget to solve that business problem.
If you can solve her problem within her budget, she will be a happy customer.
But platform X is the best!
We all know that some technology platforms are better than others. Some are far better at tackling specific problems than others.
This customer couldn’t care less which platform your technology uses.
- Even if you love that platform.
- Even if it is the best platform in the universe.
Do you want more resources for your project?
Want more resources? Go solve problems. Make customers happy by solving THEIR problems.
You are not in the technology business. You are in the business of solving problems for customers.
Do that, and your customer will be smiling like this:
And here’s the thing: When you start thinking like a business person and solving problems the business people understand they have, your projects will get better budgets.
You will find the support that you need from management.
You will finally have the resources you need to do the great work you want to do.
Go do it!