When Value Loses Interpretation

Value does not exist by itself; value exists in the connections made between things. As a growing software and services company, this simple notion is one that drives us to build elegant solutions and deliver value in the nooks and crannies of the traditional business processes that are prominent and commonplace in Higher Education.

Many institutions are ripe for innovation, and administrators often speak to us about how a process might be improved or made more efficient. With the proper attention and focus to improving a process, campus leaders have the power to make positive change.

Something occurred to us a few weeks ago regarding the very notion of value interpretation. It’s one thing to deliver a solution that fits a business need and helps eliminate a customer pain point or friction within a process. But its another to deliver a solution that works so well, people simply forget not only about all that went into designing, building, testing, and deploying it, but that the problem ever existed before. Despite needing a more efficient process or a better tool, once the solution is in place, it’s only natural for humans to adapt to the new way of functioning and overlook past struggles.

We believe value requires interpretation. Sometimes the value doesn't come in the form of a delivered solution, but rather later, when one creates a report or illustrates with data the impact that a solution has had on an operation (and perhaps on its bottom line).

When was the last time you stopped to consider how much effort went into relying solely on a landline telephone (or pay phone) to get in touch with a family member or a loved one? Do you remember how difficult it used to be to locate a specific program to watch on television, or worse, having to wait an entire week or more until the time came for the program to air?

Over time, when value loses its interpretation, people forget how things used to be prior to the arrival of a better product or service. Cell phones eliminated most people’s needs to maintain a landline in the home. The advent of the DVR technology (and subsequently streaming content) disrupted the VHS market. Consider that a lot of children today don't even know what a commercial is...

It’s only when we make the time to draw comparisons to previous experiences or illustrate the pain points of a process since replaced does one realize how better a technology has become. Without translating a solution's value in contrast with what existed before, we miss the opportunity to showcase positive change and bring those more reluctant to change or skeptical along.