Survey of the Project: Walk about Zion

Psalm 48:12 “Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers”

“Let’s see, she is in the mid-west and quoting Scripture.” Are you wondering if I am a religious “nut”?  Read on.

I’m quite familiar with various organizational charts of some small to mid-sized companies, with fewer, but some, clues about how Microsoft, IBM, and Google are structured (maybe I should research those better someday). I have narrowed my list down to four angles from which I view the business so that I can walk around it quickly. 

This morning when doing my walk-around of these four categories, it reminded me of one of my husband’s sermons. He talks about how Psalm 48 has all four points of the compass in it (not all easy to find in English) as the Psalmist paints a picture of walking around Jerusalem. [I just mentioned that I would refer to this, and he said “What, are you going to publish that before I do?” So, perhaps this is even original research on his part, but I’ve heard it preached by him several times to several audiences, so by now, at least around this county, it must be general knowledge (grin).]  

Just for the purpose of this blog entry, I have renamed my four points to start with letters of the compass, with the first one retaining its original name.

Software

We are a software-as-a-service company, so without the software we provide no service. That is where we stand today. 

Under this category fits everything about the software from a user perspective–Feature Requirements, Human-Computer Interface, Web Page Design, User Experience–plus everything related to developing the software–Platform, Toolset (selection, training, support), Architecture, Construction, Maintenance, Systems Administration, Technical Requirements (-ilities), and all varieties of testing related to both of these subcategories. All methods and procedures related to these goes under this category.

The main thing I key into with my walk-around is Requirements management, determining and tracking what we are doing, when we are doing it, and whether we have done it.

Evangelism

Yes, this was the “Prospects,” or “Marketing and Sales” bucket until I just renamed it with a compass letter. This name works well with this blog entry’s religious motif too.  

This includes a marketing plan and design for how sales will be handled. It includes marketing analysis, although I group that in my head with funding too, for obvious reasons. Currently in this category is identification and development of pilot sites. 

Whatever the Company Needs

Yeah, that’s weak to get the “W”, but it was otherwise “Company” or “Financials and Operations.” This include futures, such as projections and funding, as well as operational matters, such as accounting, any legal concerns, and the basic information systems for the company. I also place communication among the owners, project team members, and with others under this category. This blog came from thinking about what else would be helpful to the company right now. What I could really use is a COO, CFO, or VP of “Whatever…” to help us out in this category. If you know someone interested in doing this for sweat equity, you know where to find me.

Now Using Our Services

You guessed it–this would be “Customers” or “Services.”  We have no customers, so everything in this category right now is an aspect of planning.

We will not have an object that one purchases and then owns. Our customers will also not have all of the same reasons for loyalty as the customers of a software VAR (value-added reseller) who installs the software on their hardware.

Everyone starts as a prospect. Some become among those who are Now using our services, aka customers, but they are not obligated to continue as a customer, so we want to help them be happy customers.

Under this category is customer satisfaction (customer delight?) and customer success in getting their jobs done with the use of our software.

That’s my walk-around. Each of these areas feeds the other areas. There is no need right now for hard and fast lines, as there are no Vice Presidents or “divisions” in our little company right now. I simply try to do at least a weekly Survey of the Project. My grandfather, no longer living, William Hendriksen, wrote several books, one of which was named Survey of the Bible. So with this blog title, I got to talk about both of the Rev. Drs. (but not all of the Revs) in my family. I’m now hoping you will either enjoy it or forgive me if I occasionally use religious jargon in my blog entries.

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