You can now use your face to log in to Tessitura Network! Just kidding (wouldn’t that be awesome). No, what Tessitura Version 14 and the iPhone X have in common is that they both skipped a version from their last releases (Tess went from Version 12 to Version 14, and Apple from iPhone 8 to iPhone X) to make a statement about the host of new features available in the new systems. For iPhone X, we saw Face ID, all-screen design, and animojis. For Tessitura, we see a host of new features including resource scheduling (which got a round of applause at #TLCC), contact permissions, and easy-to-build HTML email templates.
Because I have worked as a consultant with more than 25 Tessitura organizations, I know that the first question an organization will ask after implementing Version 14 will be “how do we adopt the latest features?” Many organizations have processes and work-arounds in Tessitura that are firmly rooted in the operations of the organization. Is taking the time to adopt the new features even worth it? And, if so, where do you start?
If it ain't broke, don't break it
The good news is, that Tessitura and Apple both allow you to use the application as you had been using it and nothing will break or stop working. Like everyone, I gasped with excitement when Apple showed off how my new phone would recognize my face and instantly let me into the phone, and I also sighed when it didn’t work on its public debut. But by ensuring that you can always return to the old way, Apple saved the demonstration and the product.
Similarly, Tessitura also has a history of releases that overhaul just a portion of the software, allowing for old processes to stay in place. The most relevant example is the new pricing interface that rolled out with Version 12. Back before rules, layers, and events, we had an overly simple interface of pricing maps that organizations had manipulated to help them appropriately price tickets. With the release of Version 12, organizations that had developed complex processes for pricing their events were left confused with the new methods and unsure how to change their process. For years, organizations just kept doing it like they always had, and ignored the new features. And the system allowed for this.
So why should I bother adopting the new features?
In short, to save time, money, and headaches. Quickly, can you think of a process that you do regularly that is overly complex because it’s the best way you’ve found to do something? Why not take a moment to really examine the process, break it apart step by step and figure out if it is truly the most efficient use of your time. Should you really be spending 8 hours a day applying price layer maps to performances when you can set up pricing rules and events to handle this for you automatically? The answer (as you may have guessed) is no, you should focus on using your time efficiently and effectively.
But how can I get started?
Start by taking one step back, think about how you are currently managing your processes. Use a whiteboard and document each step in the process. Once you’ve finished, look at the process and see where this new piece of functionality can save a step or two (or ten). Even if you’re not completely sure the new process will work, give it a try, test the results—you could even go so far as to time how long it takes from beginning to end.
Once you’ve tried the new process at least once, document the pros and the cons. Thinking back to the iPhone X, I can unlock my phone by just looking at it, that’s a pro, but I also can’t unlock my phone without looking at it (so long to discrete under-the-table-texting!), and that’s a con. Is one of these weighted more heavily than the other?
The only way to get started is to just start, and the best starting point is to get everything out on the table and consider all of your options. A new feature may not be right for you to use just because it’s new, but—at the very least—it’s worth your consideration.
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