What would this look like if it were easy?

I came across this 5 minute video and I’ll spoil it for you – it’s the title of this piece. That’s the question Tim Ferriss asks this guy. It’s a variation on “Begin with the end in mind” – the second of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The guy is working through a tough process and it’s stressful; who hasn’t been there? Tim Ferriss asks him what it would look like if it were easy. He gets snapped out of his Lucy on the chocolate line mindset and thinks about what should change to make this bearable. He solves his problem and then invents a product to solve another problem he wasn’t immediately aware he had.

We’ve all been Lucy in that situation. It’s what makes it her most enduring bit. We know the feeling.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I like the sentiment and I’d offer another version: An hour of design is worth weeks of labor. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?

As we’re creating new systems it’s worth talking to the stakeholders and getting an idea of what this would look like if it were easy. Let’s give that a shot with work orders that aren’t binary (open/closed) but that require multiple steps, like water intrusion.

What would it look like if it were easy?
It wouldn’t be 12 steps, all of which are unpleasant. Maybe 4 steps?
It would be intuitive.
It would elicit delight in its use.
It would make our jobs easier.
It would be (pick only two (faster/cheaper/higher quality) – let’s go with faster/quality for this one.
It would set up the next phase of the job as each one closed.
It’s got to be handled outside of the normal work order system then since that system can’t handle it.
It’s got to be transparent/easily shared – a Google Sheet?
It should inform the affected parties along the way – it has prewritten notices/emails ready to send informing the resident about what’s happening next.
It should dovetail with accounting for charging back costs if it wasn’t an accident.
It should contain documentation/photos from the start so everyone understands what happened, when, and why.

Answering the question gives us a lot of good ideas on where to go next and changes we should make.

What difficult process are you facing and what would it look like if it were easier?

about.me – helpful? I’ll have to let you know…

I’ve been spending an insane amount of time on the web for work trying to increase our social media presence. I got a tumblr, facebook, linked-in, twitter, flickr, foursquare, google+, youtube – easy enough, right? What about a Klout? lastfm? 8tracks? Mailchimp? Yup, got em all.

I’m like a real-life Ash Katchum – I gotta catch them all. What makes matters worse is that I’ve also got each of these for my personal use as well. Some I love and use daily (if you’re not on 8tracks.com, you don’t know what you’re missing) but others I seldom go to or even remember exist – google+ anyone?

So what about.me? No, I didn’t mistype. That’s a thing now. Essentially it’s a modern day┬áRolodex┬ácard for all of your on-line info. Novel idea. I wasn’t sure about the value but I think I have it down.

With the multitude of accounts we all have every day this gives you one address to hand over to any interested parties. I think I like it. Easy, understated, and an obvious solution to what is getting increasingly out of hand.

I’ll let you know if it works, or if I even use it.