The Diablog™

Put On Your Glasses

People have a need to prioritize. It's why we have deadlines and to-do lists. We need that sense of urgency to focus and get things done.

Let me give an example. I bought a snow thrower at the start of winter. (By the way, I think that makes my move from Texas to New York complete.) I recall with extraordinary clarity the instructions given to me by the person who delivered it. It went like this: “Press here a couple times, flip that, twist that thing, there’s a rope, that is a lever, and a lever, and some more levers, and that lights ups, always run at full throttle unless you aren’t, this will be so much faster than a shovel.”

I had already shoveled the drive after the most recent snowfall, so I didn’t actually need a snow thrower that day. Within a week, we had another decent snow. That’s when I realized that I had no idea how to run my new toy. It was time to put on my glasses and take a closer look.

I think it’s human nature. We prioritize our mental resources based on urgency. If we need to know something next week, we have a whole week to learn it. To teach someone how to use a fire extinguisher, hand one to the person and push them into a burning building. That lesson will be learned in seconds.

Here at Dialogs, the applications we build can be quite complex with many details that must be tested and verified. Before we start building, we write spec documents, draw up architecture maps, and create interactive wireframes. All this is needed to define what we are building.

Members of the Dialogs team understand what this documentation describes, but sometimes our clients don't take the time to "put on their glasses" – or they don't have the right glasses – to really get the full picture until they actually see everything put together. Additionally, the reviewers and approvers are frequently not the people who will eventually use the application. The most valuable feedback doesn't come until the end-users "put on their glasses" and thoroughly evaluate a working application.

From a project management perspective, the remedy to this human tendency is to break up complex projects into bite-size pieces. Build one part and start using it. Revise it if needed, then build the part two on top of the first. The benefit comes from the fact that part two has an accurate foundation.

If part two builds on a part one that is not quite right, then part two may stray even further. Part three, further still. When actual users put on their glasses to test what you’ve built, they may not recognize it. The revisions will be extensive.

If you are ready to put on your glasses and take a closer look, give us a call (800-707-0106 x: 123) or contact us. We have decades of business application experience. We can show you how to improve your business.

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