Recently in my ex-team while attending a presentation made by a Senior Person who regularly interacts with the clients, I asked if we as solution providers ever made an effort to observe how the end-user is using the system and what kind of feedback does the solution get from them...
The response I got was that the size of user base is just too big for them to actually go and do that. So they relied on design folks who would/should know about user experience as well.
Companies differentiate between the User and the Costumer. The User being the person who uses the solution and the Costumer being the people who Pays for the Solution. Chances are... in most cases the Costumer is listened to and the solution is implemented as per their liking. And the likelihood of the needs of the user and the customer being radically different are quite high. The Priorities and the Perspective of the customer will be radically different. The solution thus built when exposed to the end-user faces rejection. Throughout my career I have felt the need to gather feelers from the end users time and again.
The example given here in the article is specific to banking whose costumer base is large but can apply to any other type of business.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."
I think this quote is quite applicable to my current situation. My current role is basically to be; in some ways; responsible for a whole lot of people's actions. Coordination is a key component. At heart I am a developer. A person who will be happy writing code. Give me a complex design problem or a difficult API to master and I will be happy. This current role is therefore quite different from what I have been doing till now.
From what I have gathered from people all over, this role isn't the most coveted one. Traditionally people at manager level play this role in most companies and so I have a good opportunity to get a first hand experience into how the next level operates...
I encountered another quote by James M. Barrie.
"Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else."
Scott Adams' secret nine-point formula for "everything you need to know about personal investing.". Revealed in "Dilbert and the Way of the Weasels." Notice its simple brilliance in the exact reproduction of his formula:
1. Make a will 2. Pay off your credit cards 3. Get term life insurance if you have a family to support 4. Fund your 401k to the maximum 5. Fund your IRA to the maximum 6. Buy a house if you want to live in a house and can afford it 7. Put six months worth of expenses in a money-market account 8. Take whatever money is left over and invest 70% in a stock index fund and 30% in a bond fund through any discount broker and never touch it until retirement 9. If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, college planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based financial planner, not one who charges a percentage of your portfolio
These are targeted at the American audince but can easily be adapted for your own country specific needs....