Recently I was visiting with a prospective customer about how we could create a custom iOS app for her service business. Prior to the conversation she provided a spreadsheet that she uses for part of the process. During our first phone call, I learned she uses about a dozen documents for various parts of the process.
As you can anticipate, I asked for a copy of the other documents, and she agreed to provide them. A couple of days later, I followed up to see if she needed help sending the documents. It was then I learned she had changed her mind about providing the additional documents because she only wanted to focus on a part of the process. On the surface this seems like a reasonable request, However, in reality it could not be further from the truth.
I asked for the documents because I wanted to get an overview of the entire business process. Whether we tackle the whole thing now or just a part, I can only make recommendations if I understand the complete picture. In some cases, I ask for more documents. In others, I propose a discovery phase as the first engagement. Either way, the goal is to get the whole story.
So what’s the point? If a doctor or attorney began to recommend a course of action before he fully diagnosed the patient/client, he could be sued for malpractice. In business, I have to be careful not to prescribe a solution before the problem (or issue) is fully diagnosed. Therefore, one of the operating guidelines at MightyData is “we will diagnose before we prescribe.” Thanks to the book Win Without Pitching for putting words to this important concept.