Companies usually fail at prioritizing opportunities because they are simply lacking the methods that are needed to prioritize them. Many will just complete what is easy, moving the more difficult tasks to the bottom of the list, regardless of how this decision may affect the company’s growth. Listed below are three common mistakes that many companies make but you should avoid.
1. Making improvements in areas within the company that are already up to par. You may spend years creating a quality product, but then continue to improve the product beyond its necessary limits. Just because you can improve upon the product, doesn’t mean the improvements need to be made. Making these unnecessary improvements can be costly and unnecessary; take stock of how your customers feel about the product before you make improvements. It is important to remember that sometimes less is better.
2. Making improvements that have unimportant outcomes. In your company, never focus on what can be done, but instead focus on what should be done when considering making changes to a product. When improvements are made that can be deemed as unnecessary, the product can become less appealing to customers. In this situation, it is also important to review how the customer feels about a product. Consider improvements that the customer may have suggested rather than improving the product based on what is easy.
3. Making improvements that negatively impact other outcomes. Even though the customer’s voice is an important one, listening too intently can ultimately have a negative effect on other important changes you may have made. Customers may make suggestions on how to fix one problem, but as the product designer, it is your company’s job to review all problems and situations and determine how the outcome will affect each one.
Taking the opportunity to make improvements, whether justified or not, can affect the outcome of a product and the opinion on your customer base. To ensure that you correctly prioritize your opportunities, using a survey questionnaire can be an easy way to make sure you are not wasting resources. Creating a questionnaire that states the desired outcomes and a number rating system for customers (polled randomly) can rate per importance of each outcome. Dale Carnegie’s leadership principles states that being able to organize and prioritize are important traits to have when in a position of leadership. Carrying these skills over to organizing and prioritizing opportunities for improvements on a product can benefit your company as a whole and you as a leader.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @MarkWillDCT.