Things go wrong every now and again. It’s part of life, and most successful people are defined by how they handle adversity. In this article, we will talk about how we handle things when it goes sour (or really good).
Story about a tire
I am going to share a story about a flat tire, because I think it illustrates the point well. If you read this blog often, or are friends with me on facebook, you know I am a little bit “outdoorsy.” Last week my wife, dog and I were going to hike the Gulf Hagas loop. While driving down the Katahdin Iron Works (KI) Road from Greenville, we got a flat tire. The road had recently been graded, lots of lose rocks on the surface, typical “cut a tire” conditions. No big deal though, we have a full size spare, not some little donut that this road will eat up in no time.
I got the tire, jack and tire iron out. Started jacking up the vehicle, in short period of time, it became apparent, there was going to be a problem. The jack was not lifting the vehicle high enough to put on the new tire. I am sure that jack would have worked on a level, hard surface like the shoulder of a paved road. Well, I thought a bit, and remembered I had family pretty close with a hi-lift jack, I could call them and they could bring over the jack. Just as I was looking for their number in my phone, I glanced at the top of my screen, I had no service.
So on to Plan C, grabbing wood from the forest to put under the jack, and digging a hole around the tire was enough to be able to put on the tire. Which turned a 15 minute job into an hour, but we got on our way. So what is take away lesson with this: nearly always there is going to be a hi-lift jack in the vehicle from now on. I didn’t say, “Hope that does not happen again,” and do nothing, or just hope that it does not happen again, tangible steps had to be taken.
Happens to Everybody
All individuals, small companies, and big companies have things go wrong. As of right now, google talk is down. Toyota had to recall 5.3 million vehicles in 2011. The list could go on and on, but the point remains, even the corporate titans have their issues. The point though, is how to deal with it, how to get better from it.
How we deal
When we launch a Site or App we like to make small lists about it. One list will be what went wrong, one will be what went well. Things on the” Good” list, maybe: On budget, on time, or meet client need exactly. Items on the “Bad” list may be sluggish performance, client was expecting it to work differently, or that feature was unneeded but this other feature should have been there from day one.
Once we have the list that is just the beginning, now goes the hard part, we have to figure out what caused those items to be the list. These answers may include notes about internal communication, external communication, human error, etc.
Then once we have the root causes of the good and the bad list items, we try to reflect on work flow and procedures that can be changed to be modified for the better. I think with every project we are getting more refined and more diverse in the work we can do.
That’s it, just wanted to give you a little insight into the “back office” of Sephone internal operations and the steps we are taking to evolve as a company.