How Good is Good Enough

by Onyeka Nchege on October 7, 2014

Being the bestBy now, most people across the world know that Apple has recently released their latest phone, the iPhone 6. Like many technology enthusiast, I waited anxiously to see what the post Jobs era release would bring. Admittedly, over the past several years, I have not, as my children say, been on “Team iPhone” so I have been on the sidelines watching and speculating like most others.

As with every new generation of the iPhone, a new iOS (operating system for the iPhone) was also released. And just as the iPhone 6 Plus is the biggest phone that Apple has released to date, iOS 8 is the biggest mobile operating system Apple has also ever released to date. Few know that iOS 8 was released with close to a thousand features and fixes. Yet, many know that there have been two subsequent releases to patch some issues found in the original iOS 8 release. When comparing the actual number of fixes in the two subsequent releases to the amount of features and fixes that were in the original iOS 8 release, Apple still released a product that had a quality rating of about 99%. With such a high quality rating, why have there been so many mixed reviews about iOS 8? Wasn’t iOS 8 good enough?

Unlike most products that are developed and delivered, software and technology platforms are held to a high standard that is constantly escalating. The concept of good enough does not simply mean delivering the minimum functionality that has been requested. Good enough means delivering on the expectations of your customers. One thing that I have come to realize is that expectations rank much higher than requests. If all you do is pay attention to the requests and ignore the expectations, you will most assuredly miss the mark of success.

A major gripe that caused Apple to release one of the follow ups to iOS 8 is that users were unable to use their Bluetooth devices. For those customers who don’t use, or even own, a Bluetooth device, this issue was not known at all. However, to those who use Bluetooth devices as their primary communication tool when using their iPhone, this issue was a major defect in iOS 8, which prompted Apple to address it immediately. Delivering on the varying expectations of your customers is an incredible challenge to manage, but it is a necessity that must always be addressed.

So what’s the measurement of good enough when there are varying customer expectations? Unfortunately, there is no true way to measure when the bar of good enough has been reached. Yet, there is a method to ensuring you are on the path of good enough and possibly beyond it; strive for GOLD.

    • Go to your customers and ask for candid feedback
    • Offer insight to manage their expectations
    • Listen carefully to what your customers are asking for
    • Deliver what your customers have asked for

Take Action: Decide today to be good enough and strive for GOLD

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.

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A recent finalist for the 2017 ORBIE CIO of the Year award, Onyeka brings more than 20 years of experience leading teams, developing strategies and building technology solutions. He has also led the creation and integration of technology solutions for a network of retail store franchises and distributors across North and Central America. Onyeka contributes to CIO Review magazine and shares his insights and experience with peers and colleagues via his own blog, Before joining Interstate Batteries in 2015, Onyeka led teams at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, where he modernized technology practices and powered business processes for daily, on-the-street use. He is a graduate of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University and currently serves on the EVANTA Dallas CIO Governing Body. If Onyeka were not at Interstate, he’d find another way to combine his three biggest passions: his faith, helping others, and, of course, information technology. Because ultimately, as he puts it, “we can’t help everyone, but everyone can always help someone.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Bryan Franklin October 8, 2014 at 10:58 am

The concepts in the GOLD acronym speak to valuing the relationship between the vendor and customer. Customers give grace and accolades when the things we value are valued. Listening is a not only a way of gathering accurate requirements, it is a way of validating that the people behind the requirements are valuable and their opinions matter. When you listen closely, you hear what matters to people. I wonder how many of those additional features will ever be used. Doing fewer things and doing them simply and well was the hallmark of Apple’s marketing dominance. It must be tough to balance the cries for more features while continuing to safeguard the core functionality and reliability of your product.


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