I spent hours today getting only one-fourth of the way through a slow, frustrating process I have to do every few months. What is it? It’s going through over 1000 screens of names in an online report and manually pulling out relevant data I need. The software I must use for this provides no way for me to sort or filter the information by criteria I select, and also provides no way for me to export the data into a format I can manipulate as needed.
1019 screens of 20 names each with one other column of info beside each name… How could anyone release such a feature in a software application?
Either throwing such a report in the product was an afterthought with no real planning put into it, or it was only envisioned for use with the smallest of companies that wouldn’t have 20,000-member online communities using the product. Regardless of how it came to be, it is woefully inadequate.
What amazes me is how too many companies rush to get products to market without adequate testing and input from consumers. It took me all of two minutes the first time I saw this report to come up with the obvious need for filtering, sorting and exporting the data in order to be useful. Any real customer could have told the vendor that after a few minutes with the product. Were customers asked? Apparently not.
I’ve seen our company do the same too many times to count. A handful of the wrong people are involved in the design of something, neither focus groups nor real users are asked for input, and deadlines driven by arbitrary and unrealistic dates that minimize the time for adequate testing all converge to roll out a product that is mediocre or downright poor. Then, if anyone cares to correct what is wrong, far more time is given to redo the work than would have been necessary if it was done right the first time.
Businesses and leaders need to stop being driven solely by what is expedient in the short-term and start caring about the quality of what they deliver.
Leap year lesson #212 is Do it right the first time.