2.Lesson Learned: Avoid Being All Things to All People
On the chase for a customer (from the post before) be aware of a trap of finding too many “problems” all over the place. There will be tons of them and once you start talking to people, they’ll have a tendency to complain and pour hell lot of their problems on your shoulders. First reaction might even be a slight excitement as you find people who are happy that you listen to them and that you find things to tackle. As you carry on, you’ll inevitably find an overwehlming amount of interrelated issues, causes and consequences and it will easily become difficult to make any sense out of them. That’s a clear sign it is time to stop, sort out what you’ve got and think about your role, identify your customers, consider resources and decide and focus on few concrete deliverables that in your context add most value for your key stakeholders.
Otherwise, you can easily end up trying to do too many things ending up with continuously postponing most of the items in your plans, not delivering quality and real value at all. It’s like having a restaurant (not an unusuall picture) that hopes to serve all customers passing by, thus offering incredible number of various cuisines and menu few pages long that take longer to read than daily news. It’s impossible to make such business run (just look at any successful fine dining restaurant).
One additional danger of talking to too many people is that they might get a perception that you promise a lot and don’t help them at all. Try to manage these expectations up front.