A split perspective on Quality. Does Quality really matter?
I came across this great article “Defining Quality” by Seth Godin discussing just what quality is and how it influences the success of a product. Seth describes the two types of quality: Quality in Design and Quality in Manufacturing. These two are as different as a brand new Bentley and a one-year-old Honda Civic. He also applies these concepts to the software industry.
What I find particularly interesting is his comment regarding these measures of quality:
“The balance, then, is to understand that marketers want both.
A short-sighted CFO might want neither. “
The issue that you may have experienced with corporate decisions about messaging software obviously carries over to just about everything else too. For those of us in the software industry who deal with CFOs who make seemly illogical decisions to switch software, (and make no mistake about it, it is the CFO more often than anyone else, who makes that decision) you are not alone. So if you find yourself trying to fend off the arguments for switching your messaging software, don’t think that they care whatsoever about which platform has more features or is easier to maintain or is more reliable. Before you try to make a case based on those points, you need to ask those most senior decision-makers just what really is important to them. Be careful of the mid-level managers filtering their responses too. They may be telling you what they think is important to senior management rather than what is truly important. If they really knew the pain points of the CFO, they would have already addressed them long ago. You can also read more about this factor in influencing decisions in the book “Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer’s Brain” by Renvoise and Morin.
Regardless of your profession or position, you should arm yourself with an understanding of how those decision-makers make decisions and how they are influenced.