You can’t always get what you want………..

But if you try sometime you find you get what you need. I never thought the words of the Rolling Stones would apply to my approach to some client’s requests. I have begun a new project of evaluating POS systems for a retail client. The first step in the process is to get thorough understanding of the systems, processes and data they current use to run their business. Once that phase is complete I can start to develop system requirements document which will detail all the features they need in a system. The germane question here is how to define need. Given the opportunity to articulate what they want from a new system, they generally want every wiz bang that is available. Here’s where the words of the Rolling Stones come into play: Is the goal of a new system to have every conceivable new feature or should it be limited to the features that will actually be used .with some accommodation for growth. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. In surveys done by Gartner Research they estimate that retailers typically use less than fifty per-cent of the features of their POS system. I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing. The key is are they using the features that facilitate business processes and help them make actionable decisions that drive profit. In short are they utilizing the right systems features? So in the final analysis my job is to distill all the information and develop a document that reflects, “But if you try sometime you find you get what you need”. The analogy I often use is the exercise slacker who continually buys a new high-end treadmill with the all the new features with the belief that these new feature will miraculously make him fit. It inevitability gathers dust. I want my clients to utilize what they buy and get a return on their investment.