I do most of the grocery shopping in my household. Throughout my career, I also have helped scores of clients shop for software. Over the years I’ve come to learn that shopping for software is very similar to food shopping. Here’s why:
When you go to the supermarket without a list and walk up and down the aisles putting items in your cart, you often get to the register and are surprised by how much you just spent. Inevitably, when you get home, you realize that you didn’t get everything you needed. In fact, if you were tempted by the product reps or store associates who give away samples, you probably bought items you didn’t need and may never use.
If, however, you plan your menus for the week and prepare and use a shopping list, you have a good idea of how much you are going to spend (e.g. if this is going to be a “big shop” or a “small shop”). And, you’ll be sure to get what you need and easily know if you don’t get something on your list.
Everyone knows the worst time to go shopping is when you’re hungry. The same thing is true when shopping for software. It’s best – and most cost-effective – to be proactive and get started on your software shopping project before your systems are crashing and burning and you have to pay the high price in dollars and pain of firefighting and an accelerated evaluation, selection and implementation process.
© Charles J. Riess 2017