I’ve run a few marathons, rode in several intense 100 mile cycling events and even competed in several triathlons. Important to know is just how long it took me to reach this level of performance. The answer is YEARS.
However, each season without fail in every race I competed in there would be a handful of people that were clearly not ready for it. People that either didn’t know any better or dramatically underestimated what it would take to complete one of these events.
Unfortunately, this would lead to injuries, crashes and even people needing to be evaluated in the medical tent because they had caused their bodies great distress. Not a fun time!
OK, but what does this have to do with my firm’s technology stack?
The point of this story is that you shouldn’t skip steps in the process. These aspiring athletes really didn’t know what to expect so they were not prepared. I see the same happen to firms all the time that panic then rush into a decision to make big changes all of a sudden at their firm when it comes to tech. If you try to implement something your firm isn’t ready for, you’ll probably end up making the problem worse.
So if we shouldn’t ‘skip steps’ to catch up what should my firm do instead?
Start where you are and prepare for where you want to go. In the story above, each of these aspiring athletes should have taken smaller steps. A 5K (about 3 miles) makes more sense then signing up for a marathon (over 26 miles)!
If you’re firm is several steps behind the industry standard, that’s OK. The important thing is you’re ready to invest in change and receive the benefits that these tools can offer. What you need is a roadmap to follow. Just like programs to prepare new runners such as the one called ‘couch to 5K’.
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What does the roadmap consist of and what does following it look like?
The roadmap is a custom plan built around your business. Think of it like a training plan built for one of these aspiring athletes. It will take your firm from where you are today and map out reasonable steps that you can achieve along the way ending up where you want to go. It’s designed to strike the perfect balance of progress with what your firm can handle so as to prevent outright rejection from your team because adoption is key.
Following the roadmap is as straightforward as following one of these training programs. You prepare a little, implement the next step (run a little longer) then evaluate the results (how well did it work?). When ready for the next step, you simply continue to implement the plan.
Don’t worry if your firm feels ‘rudderless’ at the moment when it comes to your technology strategy. Many firms are in this position and playing ‘catch up’ is relatively straightforward. You just need to follow a plan.
If your firm could use help building a technology roadmap, check out the roadmapping service I offer.
PS. Go here to learn more about the couch to 5K program.