Windward Insights

Evangelize and Educate Customers About the Value of Standardization

Published Feb. 12, 2015
Written by Michele Darwin

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It’s not uncommon for an operations team to spend over 80% of their efforts supporting less than 15% of their customers. What makes that minority so needy and expensive to support? Non-standard configurations.

Human psychology tells us that people will instinctively believe they are more different from an unfamiliar group than they really are. This means that customers will work to distinguish themselves from their peers. That’s right – all of your customers will all want to be different from all of your other customers. Each exception adds another development requirement, another step in QA, another design consideration to every future change action. What if ops could reclaim 80% of their time by convincing just 15% of their customers to conform to standard configurations?

How do you convince these special customers to elect to become less special? You need to educate your customers on the value of standards.

Do they want to be part of the 15% minority that consumes 80% of operational resources? Do they want to be the customer that is constantly experiencing outages? Do they want to be the last to receive new features? If they answered ‘No’, then they agree with the concept ofstandardization.