The New Year is almost a week old, and I’m sure many folks have broken a bunch of resolutions already. (If I eat just one piece of chocolate a day, that doesn’t count, right?)
While most of us focus on personal goals that we try to achieve in 2017, there are business goals that we should aim for as well. Here are five resolutions that I think you may want to add to your list, especially if you’re a product company. Just don’t break these ones please!
- Spend more time with people you care about: Just like you want to spend more time with your significant other, kids and family, you should spend more time with the people your business cares about the most — your customers. Make sure you are engaged with them throughout the product and customer lifecycle. Get their input into future products, show them how you’re doing in development, and respond quickly to their product issues. Make sure you that collaborating with your customers — and all the people they interact with like customer support and sales— is as easy as possible.
- Get fit: Eat less, exercise more. It’s not always as easy as it sounds. But in the business world, there are some easy steps you can take to streamline your processes. You don’t have to go all out and go Six Sigma. Be smart and identify where there are redundant or non-value added steps. See if there are manual workarounds your business is doing, or if there are some systems that aren’t communicating with each other. For example, are your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) systems tightly integrated, so you have one place to look at customer and product data? Make sure you look outside as well. How do you work with partners, suppliers and customers — and how can you make that work better?
- Save more money: Are you throwing good money after bad? Just as in our personal lives, sometimes we continue investing in poorly performing products, systems or initiatives. It’s highly gut-wrenching to pull the plug on anything that we’ve already spent a good deal of time, money and effort on, but sometimes you have to. The first step to recovery is recognizing you have a problem and realizing that continuing to repair your 1993 Honda Civic is not a good idea. One thing you may want to look at is older on-premises systems that have high maintenance costs, renewal fees and wasted time.
- Help others: One of the most rewarding things in life is helping others. (I highly recommend you take a look at Pledge 1%, where your company can donate 1% of your time, equity or product to deserving people). Just like you volunteer to help others in your personal life, ask yourself how you’re helping others outside your team. If you’re in engineering, what are you doing to help your customer support team? If you’re a sales rep in a custom development business, how well are you communicating and making things easier for engineering and operations?
- Manage stress: The Serenity Prayer (“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”) may be a good way to reduce stress in your life, and it could be extended into the work world as well. Are there things that your company has grown accustomed to that’s causing unnecessary stress? Take some older on-premises or even cloud solutions. Have you just accepted that you can’t change them? Do they go down? Are you worried that you have a critical business app running on Windows Server 2003 or an old cloud platform where you can’t find any developers? You may want to move to a newer and more robust cloud platform like the Salesforce App Cloud.
Hopefully these resolutions match some of your company’s initiatives this year. Good luck in 2017!