Notes from the President

Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

Does your business ever have a situation when two, three, four, or even more people don’t agree with how something should be done? How do you resolve these issues? You could pick a winner and everyone else could live with it. You could decide who’s right and fire everyone else. Obviously, these are both really bad solutions. So, how do you decide what to do?
First, let’s figure out who’s right. I already can tell you that answer – everyone is right. At Red Wing Software, we often have meetings consisting of four to ten people to discuss new ideas for software features, or how to improve existing functionality. There are often several differing ideas on what to do, and they are all good ideas. Everyone has the opportunity to argue their respective points and the pros and cons of each solution is discussed by the group. What almost always happens is we find out the solution is a combination of several ideas that produce the best results.
The same technique can be used when there is a difference in how a certain task might be accomplished. One person might think it’s more efficient to use one method, while someone else might have a much different method to accomplish the same task. Again, both methods probably work, and it’s likely that a combination of the two methods would be best. Now, we should ask: Why aren’t they both using the same method in the first place? Probably because, over time, the preferred process has evolved into something it was not originally intended to be, and as these changes to the process occurred, it was never properly documented as the best new process.
Whenever these situations occur in your business, it’s time to step back and take a look at the best solution for the issue, and properly document it. After you get the issue resolved and documented, don’t be afraid to monitor the process and tweak it as needed. And be sure to change the documentation for the process as it evolves.
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