Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't Forget to Enjoy the Product

Last Saturday five youth choruses from the area came together for a first-ever festival at the local community college. <Insert another rant about the sorry state of educational funding in California>  They spent the morning performing and getting coaching by a choir master of extraordinary skill.  Through small adjustments expertly delivered, each choir fundamentally changed their sound and skills.  Amazing.

I could go into a comparison of how the choir master was like a good product manager, getting the most and best out of the different groups and skill sets, yada yada yada.  Too easy.  I'm not a product manager and it's probably already been done on other blogs.

I want to remind everyone to savor your work.  Winemaker's get this.  Tech people not so much.

Like any product launch, festival or event, there's a lot of behind the scenes work, hand-wringing, last-minute changes and late nights to pull it off.  The choir festival was no exception.  However, too often, IMHO, we put our efforts into the launch but forget to stop and enjoy the results - kind of like baking a pie and not eating it.  We release a product, go have a beer or a solid night's sleep and forget to enjoy what we just released.  Many people even start work on the next version that day.

"But we make network switches.  How can I enjoy that?"  Well maybe YOU can't but your customers can.  That's why you made the silly thing isn't it?  Hand deliver a first article to a key customer and be there as they put it in a rack and light it up.  For software folks, go hang with your best user as they run it for the first time.  Share that time with them and take the time to enjoy your work - you've earned it.

Key Take-Away:
  • You are missing out if you don't take the time to enjoy what you've worked hard to complete.
So what does the finished product of five choirs, over a 100 kids, a choir master, 5 choir directors, 15 teaching assistants, months of planning and dozens of volunteers look like?

Cabrillo Youth and Children's Choir Festival

(BTW: those are my two boys over on the right hand side)

Next Up: Lessons Learned from Writing a Strategic Marketing Plan

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