Plenty of my friends who look at me as their IT guy always ask, “What kind of computer should I buy? What kind of software/service should I put my money on?” I end up asking questions to help shape their decision. On the other hand, most of my time in workplaces, decision makers have invested money into software without including IT in the early stages. That window of opportunity of providing valuable insight has passed compared to my friends who ask my opinion. This approach is a problem but not impossible to fix.
To get started on the fix, here are a few of the questions I ask decision makers:
- What are you trying to get done?
- How can you measure your activities?
- What’s your budget?
- When are you trying to get this done?
- Who’s your audience?
These seem like common business questions but from experience, I’ve seen many people invested in the day to day, heads in the grass activities. I don’t blame them but I want to help. I sincerely believe that if basic questions like those are answered initially, we have a stronger chance of finding an appropriate solution and success. Also, it’s not too late to establish those basic answers and shape the current. Nothing is impossible but we have to manage expectations and be realistic about the process.
Have you experience the phenomenon of putting the carriage before the horse? How do you deal with it? Feel free to holler @ me and we can talk story.