One of the most difficult phrase in the world for a vendor to engage with – of course you do and we have a solution to make it better – but how better?

I have again been faced with that phrase when asking about what someone is looking for in a WCM solution, as I try to learn what is driving a project I get a website URL and a “like that, but better”.

The challenge to a software vendor is to demonstrate that we can make things better, that our kind of better is your kind of better. We want to show you how we will make things better and talk about your vision of better. In this busy market, organisations need to allow us to move on, if our better is clearly not their better.

The challenge to the WCM project is going to be how will you demonstrate success to the business? Prove that you’ve delivered better, that your project has made things better?

“Better” is not a requirement, better is not a direction it’s a destination, but a destination you’ll need to have mapped out before you started. It’s a subject I have touched on before, any advice I would give to people buying enterprise software is to have well understood requirements that define that destination – to invest time in this. It’s the foundation of a good project.

If my wife says she wants to go to Paris, I know she doesn’t mean a tour of the offices in La Defense (a business district on the outskirts of Paris), her requirements are she wants to be central, art, museums, good restaurant, a nice hotel, a walk down by La Seine etc. etc.

Delivering an ill conceived project without similar requiremements, then proudly announcing that “it’s better”, would be like me standing beside the Coeur Défense (which is a handsome office building) then saying “it’s Paris” and wondering why my wife isn’t smiling.