When faced with customer needs, we only have two options – to meet them or not. A simple choice, however, turns into a source of tremendous dissatisfaction.
If we choose to meet the need, it is always with some judgment, or stipulation, which always results in some sort of a change. Whether due to budgetary constraints, or requirement analysis of multiple interested parties, or lack of technological/human ability, we’ll inevitably deliver something that isn’t quite right.
Customer: I need a purple widget 2 inches wide, 3 inches high, and 1 inch deep.
We: Sure, we can do that.
Three months go by.
We: After talking to all of the stakeholders, we determined that it’d be cost effective for us to produce a blue widget 3 inches wide, 2 inches high, and 1 inch deep. It saves us a lot of money and allows more people to use the widget.
Customer: Yay! Widgets! Efficiency! Cost savings!
Few days go by.
Customer: Umm .. I still wish I had that widget
If we choose to not meet the need, it may be for a variety of reasons – because we cannot meet it, would not meet it, or even choose to ridicule the user for even considering THAT to be “a need.”
Sometime ago, I heard a quote somewhere that a compromise is something neither party wanted. I think that since personal and organizational needs are typically put through a compromise machine, they are typically unmet, forcing users to settle for a widget that isn’t right for what they need. Obviously, this results in all sorts of negativity and dissatisfaction, from all sides.
The reason for this divide is that the base upon which these solutions are delivered is too rigid and inflexible. Technology must have these constraints; budgets must have others, regulations yet others, and so on.
Wouldn’t it be something to build a frame, which can support not only any number of scenarios, but support those varying scenarios simultaneously? A goal worth striving for as its achievement can have significant implications.