Saturday, September 09, 2006


We can do it but will they come?

With the recent posts by Julian and Ed Brill about selling what we can do in Notes, it got me thinking. We can build all kinds of great apps but will they come? One of the things I didn't expect when building Notes apps is that I'd have to continue promoting them after they were built. Take a workflow application as an example. Do people resist change? I can give my cats a bath easier sometimes than get a salesperson to start a workflow. You know how cats are when you try to put them in water. They use all four legs to kick, scratch you and straddle the tub. Managers may get excited about the increased efficiency, reporting and storage of workflow activity. But, the guy doing the data entry sees it as just another chore. There better not be any bugs to prevent smooth data entry. They'll flog me at the public square. I can relate to their feelings. I mean how many of us IT guys like doing their time reporting?
As a Notes developer, I find myself doing my own BA work, marketing and follow through to get the most out of the finished product. I actually enjoy being this close to the project.
The nature of many Lotus Notes applications make them catalysts for change in an organization. The bigger the audience, the tougher the change. If I were building a Rating system that simplifies many calculations or a data entry system that has people who's job is to enter data, no issue with getting them to adopt the applicaton. Try and get someone to participate in a discussion database and they don't see what's in it for them. The applications I've seen that are the most successful are the ones that are tied to the participants compensation and yearly review.
Maybe this is another reason it's hard to sell Notes? The masses aren't open to change?

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