Requirements? nah we’ll buy it then see what we can do with it…

December 10, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

That’s what I heard today – I was astounded. The biggest mistake you can make when purchasing software (or anything) is ignoring your requirements and going for the “we’ll buy it then see what we can do with it” approach.

I got a call asking me whether L&D had any survey or online evaluation tools – it just so happens that our LMS has a ton of features that we haven’t really fully explored yet..surveys and evals are one of them. So I answered “Yes! our LMS can do that, but first of all tell me a bit more about what is it you’re thinking of doing and why are you thinking of surveys/evals?” – My client replied with something along the lines of “oh we haven’t got anything definite in mind yet – we’ll get a tool then see what we can do with it’…

So what’s the problem with this approach? First of all you are doomed to fail from the outset – no matter what it is you’re buying it won’t work, mainly because you don’t even have a clear idea of what you want to achieve..so how can you get there successfully? Second you are going to find yourself restricted in what you do..your ideas and projects will be restricted by what the tool can do..not what you need to do..it’s like trying to fit a baked cake into an old mold..it’s going to get messy !

So my advice was to go back and nut out what the requirements were..and we’ll go from there.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Yep experienced that also a lot of times. The fun seems sometimes more in selecting new tools than exploring the current tools or getting the requirements sorted out.
    Just to be aware, we have some tools laying on the shelve, free of charge….
    Jef

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Deb. With so many tools and technologies out there, it doesn’t make much sense to take stabs in the dark. You’re better off working out want you want to achieve first, then seek the tool or technology that can enable it.


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