Monday, June 02, 2008

Driving with bad brakes

We tend to think that our equipment and operations are perfect (best-in-class), because we operate in a vacuum. We may only seek out feedback that supports the picture we have of ourselves and our projects, rather than seeking out an independent view. It could be that a project begun years ago was state-0f-the-art at the time, but times have changed and that project may now be "old school," dated, and not a project to be admired. That move from being best-in-class to being not-so-great didn't happen overnight; it happened gradually.

Just like driving with bad brakes.

Brakes go bad slowly and if you don't know what to feel or listen for, you may not realize what has happened. However, unlike digitization programs, we do take cars in for periodic check-ups and our mechanics can tell us the sad truth -- our equipment isn't as good as it used to be. And once you know what to listen for, you can hear bad brakes! Just like having bad brakes, when someone opens your eyes to your project having equipment or operations that need updating, then you can't stop noticing it yourself (even if there is no squealing sound).

When we take our cars in for an oil change, we give our mechanics time to look things over and tell us how things are holding up. It could be that we need to spend a few dollars on maintenance, in order to eliminate the need of spending many dollars later on. What if you hired someone to take a peak under the hood of your digitization program? What if you asked a digitization "mechanic" to check things out, kick the tears, and give you an assessment? And what if spending a little money could give you peace of mind about the status of your project? Sounds a bit like money well spent. brakes are getting fixed today.

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