The Pipeline To Your Corporate Soul

Your software reflects your organization.

Alan Cooper

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As a business person, you may consider your software to be an operational tool, part of the sales or operations of your organization. But to your customers, it is a pipeline to your corporate soul. The behavior of your software indicates what is really valuable, what is truly important to your company, and there is really no way to hide.

Websites let your customers access your products and services, but as a side effect, they also access your corporate values. If your website is clumsy or slick, easy or confusing, it tells them a story.

Most clients hire Cooper to solve superficial problems. When they first approach us, they ask us to help make their websites “be more friendly” or their software “easier to use.” Sometimes they just want us to “make it pretty.” In every case, we find that hard to use, unfriendly, or even just ugly software is a symptom of deeper problems within the organization.

If a company has a difficult or confusing website, it can mean that they have a confusing organizational structure.

If a company has hard to use software, it can indicate that there are several politically charged constituencies within the company and each is advocating conflicting requirements.

If a client’s website is unfocused, full of unnecessary features, and it forces users to enter superfluous information, it can mean that they are unclear on who their users are and have a corporate structure incapable of serving those users well.

Software has become like body language in the way it reveals your inner personality to a patient observer. Your body language always tells the truth, even when you are trying to hide an ugly secret, and it will give you away every time. You simply can’t create likable software if you are a dysfunctional company.

If you want to improve the quality of your website, app, or software, you need to also improve the quality of your organization. You need to ferret out the people who play politics but don’t get things done. You need to squash bureaucracy that stops innovation with doubt and red tape. You need to eliminate the energy drains, systemic distortions, and toxic people that force others to…

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Alan Cooper

Ancestry Thinker, Software Alchemist, Regenerative Rancher