Friday, February 16, 2007

Why Deliver Quality?

When looking at content management applications bought by Companies as “off the shelf” and “highly configurable” products, you are always amazed when you see the bad quality delivered and the pore internal processes that the developing and/or implementing vendors have. Sadly it seems like quality services and products are not needed or even wanted in order to make a good profit.

Having worked on both sides with product development and implementation projects as well as in purchase projects I think that one of the biggest reasons is that the sales organizations always are ahead and oblivion of product development. Of course they need to be ahead you say and sure in order to make money you need to sell the product regardless of the current state that it’s in and let future earnings improve the product. What I mean is that people selling the product don’t know what they are selling and the impact of their promises. Furthermore they do not seem to care and even worse they do not have to care.

The fact that it is still possible to have this approach as a vendor comes down to a pair of major reasons if you ask me:
  • The majority of companies are still very bad in defining their needs and buying content management solutions.
  • It is very rare that a company performs regular reviews and has the courage to face their mistakes and select a new vendor after an unsuccessful implementation.
What is your take on this? Why does the history repeat itself over and over again when it comes to these matters?

1 comment:

  1. I have a rather long comment on this, according to me, interesting subject:

    Software vendors always strive to be (or seem to be) one or a few steps ahead of their competitors. The problem is that their competitors strive for the same thing. So, they are "bidding up" the feature lists and promises of their software products.

    But, the Software Development cannot keep the same pace as the Sales and Marketing department, which causes a gap between the promise and the reality, between the marketing and the product.

    Still, a software vendor has to do its best in trying to deliver to the customers what they have promised to them in their sales and marketing activities. And, the fastest and possibly the only way to do that is to let go on quality, which sometimes even means delivering features that do not work at all. There seem to be an attitude that it is more important to deliver to the promises made by the Sales and Marketing department than to deliver high quality products. They have a naive faith in that bad quality is something that can be repaired afterwards.

    The IT industry seem to be rather unique in this way of thinking. I can hardly imagine that it would occur in more mature industries such as the car industri or consumer goods industry. The customers just wouldn't accept it. So, why do customers that buy software products seem to be more willing to accept bad quality? I don't have an answer to that one.