The Race to Manage Space…. How Fast is Fast Enough?

If you were asked to describe the type of space software you would really like to utilize, the following requests are often the first to come to mind: simple to use, intuitive and fast!

These are realistic expectations and in the context of the workspace itself, translate to: how we interact with, manage, and measure it.

The ideal software combines very different attributes by providing the ability to facilitate the way you want to work, supporting the different processes you follow, and also providing innovative and alternative solutions to improve the way you work.

However, alongside this there is always the ubiquitous underlying user experience question: ‘How Fast is it?” We have all been in situations where we impatiently close a website because it is too slow or we experience interminable waiting, as the customer service agent tells us “The computer system is a bit slow today”. These experiences are just the tip of the iceberg. Response time is actually very easy to measure when buying new software.

The real ‘How Fast’ questions being asked here have a much more significant impact on our user experience:

  • HOW FAST can I do a task?
  • HOW FAST can I find out how to do something new?
  • HOW FAST do I get a response from a real person at the software company when I need it?
  • HOW FAST can I answer a question from my boss?

and for the under-pressure space manager:

  • HOW FAST can I get that new team seated?
  • HOW FAST can I get a new floor loaded into the system?
  • HOW FAST can I improve workspace use?

The answers to these ‘How Fast’ questions can ultimately impact the success or failure of the software project you are working on.

How can you answer all of your ‘How Fast’ questions when evaluating new software applications?
When assessing user experience there is no substitute for…. User Experience.

Many buying processes focus on well… process, an RFI or RFP is produced with requirements that include: must be easy to use; describe your response times; ability to load drawings; manage Moves etc. Software demonstrations are attended where a well-trained sales engineer shows the best parts of the system usually with standard data. Score cards are sometimes completed. Oh, and you get to see how fast the standard demo is.

But none of these really help answer the complete “How Fast” questions. You learn so much more by actual experience and application. Listening, watching and reading will give you a mediocre overview at best. There is no substitute for investing time in “Hands on experiential try it and see” workshops and trials. Apply your own drawings and data to a software solution. Try out the functionality, interact with the people that will implement the software, train and support you. Workshops inspire collaborative genuine question and answer sessions that apply directly to your individual needs. Trial time enables you to ensure the software will work for you. However busy you are, it is time well spent and will be invaluable in answering the question “How fast is fast enough?”

Posted in Uncategorized.

Matthew Sheldrick