Inventing the USB: what buyers of PPM technology can learn from a proven success story

26 April 2013
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The success of USB technology has faced many challenges during its climb in the last 15 years, however the key to its market acceptance lies with its original goal to solve a basic problem while delivering tangible benefits to both buyers and sellers in the markets it has served.  Today, with over 10 billion USB devices in circulation, Ajay Bhatt understood from day one that his invention would only succeed if he can convert the market drivers of the very complex technology sector that his concept will reduce suppliers’ costs while solving the basic end user problem of complex connectivity that demanded multiple ports and devices between hardware devices.  As a result, today USB is synonymous with “plug and play” and is seen by many equivalent to the common electrical outlet found in our homes.   The lesson is clear –  Although we live in a technology-driven world, today’s consumers are continuously seeking technology that will simplify their lives in the most basic way possible.  Similar to the USB, buyers of enterprise software, and more specifically PPM technology, need to recognize that the solutions they are evaluating need to deliver the fundamental benefit of “Making their lives easier!”

It is not uncommon for buyers of project management and/or PPM technology to fall into the trap of paralysis analysis losing sight of their basic needs.  Taking the time to understand their requirements and the technology that will best suit their environment needs to be carefully thought out and approached in a methodical manner.  A big part of the reason of the USB’s success can be attributed to not losing focus on solving pain in a very fundamental way.  The same can be said concerning successful enterprise software implementations.

Here are some questions you may want to consider during your evaluation process to help you focus on what really matters in your final decision:

1. Have your clearly defined your needs and requirements before jumping with both feet into your evaluation and selection journey?

2. What are the top major pain points that need to be addressed?  What is your strategy to remain focused?

3. How do you expect technology to solve your pains?  Can the pain points be addressed by improved processes or personnel?

4.  Have you addressed the pains of all final stakeholders and decision makers?  Do you have everyone’s buy-in?

5. Have you created a wish list of what you expect in the chosen vendor to deliver in terms of features, support and services?

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