I recently installed a wireless broadband network in my house. As I am over 40 and utterly disinterested in technical gadgets, I double-checked with the salesperson that the equipment would be very easy to install. He insisted that it would be so easy even his grandmother could do it – literally plug and play with very simple instructions.
Encouraged by the promise, I agreed to the deal. A little later the operator delivered to my doorstep a box full of instructions, cables, and electronic thingies. What was supposed to take a granny a few minutes took me more than four hours – and I only managed to get one of our three computers to connect wirelessly. Even for this feat I had to humble myself to ask for help from my teenage daughter. Too bad I had not thought of asking for the salesman’s granny’s phone number…
The key stumbling blocks were as follows:
- The equipment delivered was not what was described in the instructions (upon further inspection, some poorly copied instructions for the actual equipment was found from the bottom of the box)
- The operators customer service line dropped me from the queue more than 40 times
- The terminology in the manuals was written using alien terminology (how am I supposed to know which one of the six cables is the Ethernet cable)
- The WiFi router (a term which I was forced to learn) was consistently referred to using different terms in different phases of the process
Usability has been a hot topic in the software business for a long time. But it is not enough that just a piece of software is easy to use – it is the entire package that must be usable. This includes deployment, customer service, production use, and even the end-of-life procedures.
In treasury systems, simply making the actual software usable seems to be an unsurmountable task to many vendors. I have actually seen software packages aimed at business units that I could not have been able to use with my 20 years of treasury experience. So, how on earth can business units be expected to use them?
A Guerilla Treasurer understands the benefits of a solution that is truly usable. Especially when it comes to software that is to be used by business units, he selects solutions that are fast to deploy and do not require lengthy and expensive training or deep treasury understanding.