The Perfect Software Program


By Phil Harwood

What is the best software program out there? This is one of the most common questions I’m asked; not a week goes by without someone asking me this question. You may be surprised to learn that the perfect software program really does exist – and I’m excited to tell you about it.

Over the course of my 35+ years in the green/white industries, I’ve worked diligently to remain aware of the various software solutions that have come and gone. I’ve learned a great deal about some of these programs and not so much about others. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means but I feel like I do have a solid grasp on the lay of the land, at least enough to have an intelligent conversation on this topic or to write this blog.

In my experience, most companies have a love-hate relationship with their software programs. They invest lots of time and money in the program but complain loudly at the same time about all of their issues. Every day brings a new complaint, all the while spending more of their hard-earned money on the program. This continues until the level of frustration builds enough to jump ship and start all over with another software program. You know, because the grass is always greener.

I see the same approach with all sorts of relationships. I see this in many employee-employer relationships. I see this in marriages. Investing in a software program is a commitment. It may not be a lifelong commitment made in the presence of God, family, and friends, but it is a pretty serious commitment to an important relationship.

For any relationship to flourish, there must be some basic elements present. This is true of your relationship with your software program. Let’s play this out with two different scenarios. First scenario, let’s say that you have purchased a new software program. You want to implement it successfully but you’re skeptical from day one that it’s going to be “the one.” You complain about every aspect of the program when things don’t go your way, regardless of who’s fault it is. Even worse, you continue to look at other solutions. Everyone around you knows that this is going to be a short-lived relationship so they don’t waste much time to get to know the new software. Eventually, the frustration reaches a boiling point and you move onto the next software program. You tell everyone how terrible the software was. The cycle starts all over again. Your past is filled with a trail of broken relationships with software companies. Your company is filled with remnants, bad memories, and collateral damage.

Second scenario, let’s say that you purchased a new software solution knowing that it will have things about it that you and your team are going to have to accept as they are. You are filled with hope, positivity, and excitement. This rubs off on everyone around you. Your commitment seems solid, genuine, and long-term. Everyone begins to embrace the new software program. Your new software program makes mistakes sometimes but you work through it with grace and forgiveness, keeping a good attitude and reinforcing to everyone around you that this really is “the one.” Your people learn how to work with the software solution, with its funny nuances and strange quirks. The relationship develops over time into something deep, meaningful, and valuable. Do you see the difference?

What is the perfect software program? Probably the one you’re already in a relationship with. After all, you most likely did your homework and picked a software package that was a reasonably good fit. Maybe the “problem” isn’t the program itself but the mindset that you and your company have toward the relationship. No relationship can endure a barrage of complaints, negativity, and unforgiveness.  

The good news is that your relationship with your software company may be terminated if needed. For some of you, the perfect software solution is the next one. If so, everything I’ve written about applies. The success of your next relationship is greatly affected by your approach. In fact, maybe your approach has everything to do with its success or failure.

Now go forth.

Tags: Software , Program ,