Posts Tagged project management software project execution decision making enterprise software

What would the world look like if more managers made decisions like children?

It was my son’s tenth birthday. We finally caved in and got him an iPod, in this case the latest iPod Touch. It is an amazingly well designed device; so much you can do with it! It works and looks great. The new version is quite an improvement over its predecessor. My son got hooked on it pretty quickly and literally a few minutes later he was able to navigate and use the device on his own.

This sparked a conversation during the birthday party with a few of the parents who are also in the IT and software industry. We remarked how children follow the crowd and are loyal to a brand but only if the product truly lives up to the hype. If the iPod Touch was hard to use, too slow or ugly looking he would drop it in a minute. If something comes along from vendor XYZ that does more, is faster, looks nicer and easier to use than the iPod Touch they would embrace it pretty quickly, Apple be damned.

Generally, IT and software executives adopt new products with a completely different decision making process. What do you think?  What would change if more managers and executives made decisions like children do?

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Why US companies are worldwide leaders

I have been involved in the project management software business for more than thirteen years. Over the years one consistent pattern has been the glaring difference between the decision making efficiency of our American customers versus that of virtually any of our customers in other countries.

After studying this for years, I can comfortably say that an American prospect is highly likely to make a purchasing decision (go/no go) 3 to 4 times faster than a UK, Canadian or Australian prospect. And, an American customer is much more likely to quickly move forward with a project even if there are some unknowns and timeline risks, based on a mutual trust and commitment to the project’s success. Whereas a Canadian prospect, for example, may procrastinate, over-analyze and hesitate to the point that any momentum or enthusiasm for the project is long gone.

This pattern is more evident in times of trouble. American companies seem to invest even more aggressively in tough economic times. In the last 4 quarters, while the rest of the world has started to tighten their belts and reduce software spending, our American customers have actually increased and accelerated such investments so that they can outmatch their competitors.

This type of decision making process and speed makes American companies far more competitive and capable in comparison to their peers in other countries. There are a lot of challenges for the United States of America, healthcare, debt, deficit, war against terrorism/extremism, … but from my observations, on the innovation front, the United States is by far, the absolute global leader.

In the next blog I will talk about my observations regarding enterprise software implementation projects at US companies versus similar projects executed for companies in other countries.

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