When priorities differ

We bought a vacuum cleaner today. Actually, we bought two. My husband deemed this a complete waste of time and money for what seems like an obvious reason…we already have three vacuum cleaners.

Before you immediately side with him let me explain that one of the vacuum cleaners is a canister vac that dates back to Reagan’s second term in office (no kidding). The second is an upright behemoth that seems to weigh about 400 pounds. It’s so heavy I can barely use it and more importantly, my kids can’t use it. The third, while newer, is so gutless it’s a wonder it can pick up anything at all.

And anyway, should you really get a vote if you only vacuum twice a year? In other words, the person who uses the vacuum should get to decide, right?

Well, we all know that’s not always how decision-making works. When you’re running a business some of the requests you receive seem ridiculous, particularly when it comes to technology. Having been, at various times, both the manager and the managed, it can be frustrating to both parties. What seems like a gaping need to the individuals doing the work may seem like a luxury to the person managing the budget. But I can tell you I’ve experienced situations where lagging technology severely affected output and productivity. If you’re faced with a decision like this, ask yourself:

  • What can I expect to get from an upgrade? Will I see an increase in productivity? Shortened timelines? Better quality output?
  • How long will it take me to see a return on my investment? Will there be a return?
  • If I were doing this job what would I want to have at my disposal?

Decision making always involves a trade-off, and sometimes compromise. I admit, I did let my husband choose one of the vacuums today. He was really impressed by the wide array of attachments it had. Who knows, maybe he’ll vacuum four times this year.

Facing a technology upgrade? Send your stories to sarah@dayonebusinessservices.com  – if I use them, I’ll feature your business.

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