“Can’t get no…Satisfaction…”

Optimists, pessimists. Happy, sad. Net promoters, net detractors.

No matter who you are or what you do, it is human nature to want to see the good, to be happy, to share what you like with others. Look no further than the “Like” buttons on this page and virtually every web page you see for evidence of the importance satisfaction plays in our business and personal lives.

So we set out to see just how happy BC Managers are with their programs and the tools they use to manage. What we found was a strikingly clear delineation into four primary categories. The categories we came up with included:

Satisfied and fulfilled – people who felt that their programs were headed in the right direction and the tools they use enabled them to succeed and in many cases expanded their visions and contributions.

Building/Rebuilding – people who are starting or starting over for whatever reason and are looking for new and innovative ways to accomplish their goals.

Out of gas – people whose programs have hit a wall, and who also feel that their tools and methods are not enabling them and in many cases may actually be holding them back.

Fed up – people whose programs are constrained by legacy tools that simply cannot address the needs of the organization in terms of functionality and ease of use.

Before we get into a protracted debate about whether I have put the right labels on the categories or used exactly the right words, please hang on long enough to get to the real point of this post.

It was not so much the clear delineation of these four camps that got our attention but the small minority in the Satisfied and Fulfilled group! Why aren’t people happier? If they are so unhappy, why don’t they embrace change more readily? Could it be that BC Managers are so consumed with getting through the day to notice that others around them are getting more done with less by embracing new methods and technologies?

The answers we got were diverse, but most boiled down to making the business case. How could spending money on automated systems possibly make sense when my company is cutting every corner possible?

The answer requires re-orientation. The question needs to be reversed. How could it make sense to deploy resources and capital and not complement that investment with tools that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of those investments? The business case is based on driving leverage and value from all of the other investments an organization needs to make to reduce continuity risk. It always strikes me when an organization effortlessly absorbs incremental headcount and cuts POs for technology, ostensibly to reduce risk, and cannot see the value of investing in tools that could deliver more for much less. But I digress.

The crux of the issue is Satisfaction! One is satisfied when one’s expectations are exceeded, not merely met, and certainly not when they are not. But satisfaction is a two-way street. It requires someone willing to make an investment, embrace change, and/or take a leap of faith. In exchange it requires someone willing to do whatever it takes to please. Doing whatever it takes means innovation.

And the punch line is that no one is happy when innovation is out of their reach; when their programs and their tools fall behind. So it is incumbent on program managers to demand and embrace change and service providers to innovate, solve and deliver. Innovation drives satisfaction.

To discuss this or related topics please contact us.  We would be happy to set up a demo and help you get to the Satisfied and Fulfilled category. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.


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