In part one, we discussed how too many choices dooms us to be unhappy. We left off with you making a list of everything you need your software to do…and that’s where things got ugly.
Your list of twenty-seven high level things you need your software to do is about to get really big. Each one of those mission critical items can now be broken down into all kinds of goodies: sub-bullets, sub-sub-bullets, if-this-happens-then-that scenarios and much much more!
With each additional critical item you added, you received a plethora of new choices. Are the choices helpful or hurtful? As it turns out, it’s actually the latter.
For each day you spend brainstorming things you want your software to do, the probability of doing anything about it in the future lowers. As we saw in the earlier part of this blog, choices are debilitating. Your dream list most likely includes things you don’t necessarily need day one (if at all) and the longer the list gets, the more likely you are to find absolutely no one who can deliver what you need. Now you’re in “gap hell” where you have even more lists of gaps and complicated nuances – as well as potential workarounds.
The part that royally sucks about this is that the decision-making time frame slows to molasses, and the months you spent analyzing (which should have been weeks) could have been spent implementing a critical capability your company desperately needed.
Thinking more zen-like
In general, dealers should be able to decide on critical software for their operation in one to four weeks. Keyword: weeks. It should never take months and it should be placed as a priority for a “quick burn” of hours to gather the necessary information and make a quick decision.
If you’re spending months selecting your next software, something’s wrong.
Here’s a quick way to move your organization forward and not get bogged down in the BS. The goal is to act decisively and move quickly.
- Let go of perfection. You’ll never make a perfect decision – and there’s no such thing as perfect software. I still complain about that stupid ribbon in Microsoft office (and it still trips me up on table of contents and page setup), yet I still create documents just fine every day. Even though I do grumble under my breath, the software does make our team more productive – but it’s far from perfect.
- Get more information. Get the information you can now, but don’t be held up by the lack of information. Identify what you need up front and roll with it. Market dynamics and lack of research teams means you’re always in the grey. Cut through the grey with action – not with endless analysis.
- Try and err. Make a decision and live with the choice for a bit to see what happens. You’ll be making progress and learning in real-time vs. pontificating and doing nothing. Most choices aren’t so black and white – many times a solid decision plus a trusted vendor means you can both make mid-course corrections and solve any unexpected challenges together. Too often, people try to make the ultimate-one-time-live-or-die decision-of-all-decisions, but the reality is that your software journey is most likely going to be a series of many decisions. Spend more time on the vendor and their capabilities rather than on the minutiae.
- Try intuition. Listen to your gut. Intuition can be wrong, but that’s okay.
- Stop worrying. We learn, adapt and improve. You won’t die – so just choose.
Cut down on the cognitive overload of all the crazy choices we have each and every day. The right software for your operation is sometimes very freeing – if you let it be.