Tembo CPAs is not your typical CPA firm for many reasons.
One of these is that we have experience solving an array of problems for our clients regardless of whether tax and finance are involved.
A huge benefit of having worked with entrepreneurs and being one myself is that we’ve had the chance to work on a lot of technology projects where we’ve been able to help clients in different areas of their business. We’d like to highlight a recent story to showcase this.
Recently, I was in a business meeting with a business owner, the president and the COO. We ended up having a conversation about what their customer was experiencing online because the business involved an online training and education system.
As we talked we began to realize that the flow for understanding how to subscribe to the training, what you get and what you do next could be clearer to the customer.
The conversation that was taking place between these three executives was all about what the customer’s online experience should be and there was general disagreement in the room.
Tembo shared some advice in managing technology projects that can be broken down:
First, look at where you are and what the existing web application looks like.
Next, talk about what you want it to end up being like.
The best way to do this is to create a light weight design of the web pages. Think of this as an outline.
Begin to create wireframes and then look at general design concepts. This doesn’t need to be fancy. We did it on a whiteboard and revised it over and over until we had a flow that made sense.
By the end of the meeting we had a wireframe that everyone agreed upon, which is where a lot of the disagreement was coming from in the first place.
The beauty of working in a team is that everyone in the room brings a different set of expectations and a different knowledge base. For example, a tech person knows the limitations of the technology itself.
When making business decisions you can’t leave it up to only one person. Everyone who understands the business and its constraints should be in the room before turning it over to designers to carry out the plan.
Tembo recommends doing this in sprints: either day long or week long.
This way you are completing 1/10 of the project and then looking at what you’ve got, making revisions and then moving onto the next part of the project until it’s complete.
Another key factor is that during this process you have to develop buy-in from people who are actually using the platform. For example, we recommended the company to find three or four actual customers who have gone through the subscription process in order to get their feedback about the changes we were proposing. Sometimes it’s easy to miss things that a customer might want.
In the end, you have a process that takes less time overall. Even if it feels like it takes longer on the front end, once it gains traction the whole project moves very quickly because everyone knows exactly what they’re doing and what the end result will look like.
Undergoing this process is eye opening for many clients and the Tembo team is grateful to guide business owners through it.