Software projects tend to be a few days late and a few thousand dollars
over budget. So, for technology professionals, “walking the extra mile”
is almost a common practice.
Apart from the standard project pressures, these technology
professionals have a daunting task of avoiding commoditizing
themselves. The technology that’s hot today may be a commodity
tomorrow. Should a technology professional focus on a particular
technology at all? The answer is not a simple “Yes” or a “No”.
Here are some simple practices to avoid commoditization
1. Solve the right problem:
Many smart customers may diagnose the problem and ask you to solve it.
If the diagnosis is wrong, the project fails even if you solve the
problem you were requested to solve.
2. Care as if it’s your own:
Treat the project as if it was your own project. If you care and take
care, clients will know and will want you back on their teams
3. Have a great attitude: Technical skills are necessary but not enough to differentiate yourself. It’s your attitide that counts
4. Set the right expectations: Many
times customers don’t care if the project is delayed but they don’t
like negative surprises. Set the right expectations from the start and
throughout the project. A positive surprise is welcome but not
5. Enhance clarity in your communication:
Most projects fail because what you meant was different from what you
said and what the client heard was different from what was interpreted
and so on. Communicating with clarity will play a major role in making
the project successful.
- Commoditization – Car rentals (courtesy: Doc Searls)
- Defy commoditization – Mortgage banking example
- Commoditization at work – Zero sum game??
- Q&A on the book published in “The Enterprise Innovator”
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