The quiet before the storm or the cheers?

This coming Monday, we will be launching new service desk software at my company. The launch represents about 18 months and literally thousands of hours of effort by the IT department that I am a member of. I can honestly say that it is the single largest project I have every been directly involved in. I almost cannot count all of the things I learned about enterprise software, planning, proposals, evaluations, consulting, support, project management, and on, and on. It has been a long and rough road that was longer and rougher than anyone imagined at the beginning.
The problem is that I want it to be perfect and for everyone to be thoroughly pleased with it. We thought long and hard about what would make a good system. We interviewed our users, we tested, we tweaked, we debated, and, in some cases, outright argued, but, most of all, we really tried to work towards what we felt was best for our users and our business. At some point, however, you have to “ship it.” Perfect is the enemy of good enough. Some would argue that if it isn’t perfect, it isn’t done. The reality is that rarely do you have the resources (usually time and money) to achieve that ideal. We will be launching with our best effort 1.0 and fully plan to continue to improve the service in the weeks and months ahead and to listen to the feedback from the users.
The part that really concerns me is the “double jeopardy” my team is in. If it isn’t well received, that will reflect poorly on our larger IT organization (which includes us). If it performs poorly, that reflects badly on my team specifically as we are responsible for the system itself (the servers). As anyone in the software/IT business knows, the variables are plenty when it comes to performance and you don’t always have control over all of them. Some performance problems are inherent in the software and we can’t change them. Our users don’t know and don’t care about that. Is that a pride problem that’s making me worry? I don’t think so but it still nags at me.
Change is tough and most everyone deals with it less-than-perfectly. No matter what happens on Monday, I know that there will be a number of people that will complain if for no other reason than because it’s “different.” I have a thick enough skin to take that. I’m a people pleaser and since I see the imperfections, I worry that others won’t be able to look past them.
Sorry for the rambling and the disjointed thoughts, but it’s my blog and my prerogative. G’night.

2 thoughts on “The quiet before the storm or the cheers?

    • A little rough. From the end-user side, the experience is decent and they’re liking the improvements. IT is bearing the brunt of the problems as we see more of the system. It’s also uncovering differences between “testing” the system and actually “using” it. We shall prevail.

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