Getting a new customization can be exciting, but without the right preparation you could miss an opportunity to optimize your software’s potential. Consider these four points before getting the customization you’ve had in mind:
- Make sure you are crystal clear on the problem that this customization resolves. I have seen it happen several times where the customization is built to solve a problem, but no one can name the problem. You should be able to clearly articulate the problem in a way that is system agnostic. Your “Day in the Life” scenarios from early in your implementation will help you here.
- Test the “what if.” Imagine what would happen if the customization was not created. Take some time to write down a couple of solutions that solve the business problem without the customization. Sometimes by reframing and reworking the problem, we are able to see an alternative solution that confirms if we should move forward with the customization or not. It also might refine the customization to a place where it meets your needs without requiring extensive rework down the road.
- Is this your “stick of butter?” I ask myself this question a lot to make sure I am keeping my goal in mind, but also not getting too stuck in tradition. When I was young, I learned how to make sugar cookies from my great grandmother. I followed the same steps she taught me for years. “Take a stick of butter out of the fridge and let it come to temperature on the counter.” This task accomplishes the goal, but I did it because that was how my great grandmother did it and her mother before her and so on. If I integrate newer technology into the process and use my microwave, I get the same outcome with less time. It is easy to do something the same way because it has always been done that way. When it comes to customizations, it is important that you are not recreating an old process in a new system or underutilizing your available tools.
- Work with a partner. Working with a partner in the process that is familiar with the system will help to accelerate this process. Communicate your needs with your team and don’t be afraid to collaborate!
Like every decision with your software, there is plenty to think about before deciding to proceed with a customization. Make sure you do your due diligence before proceeding with a lengthy, and sometimes costly, customization.
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