Kaizenovate Blog 

Two Minute Drill: Why Standardization First Makes Customization Better


What’s up Kaizenovators, Happy Tuesday Two Minute Drill. Today’s topic of conversation is Customization versus Standardization. Over the years, we’ve implemented so many different technology platforms in our practices. One of the painful lessons I learned early on was not to customize too soon.

Customization vs. Standardization in Tech


We bought this platform called SuccessFactors. It’s essentially a goal management and human performance evaluation tracking system. I loved it. I thought it was great. My team hated it, and I’ve never lived it down over the last 10 or 15 years. We’re not using it anymore. It was bought by SAP, and we’re not using it anymore. 

When we got this product, I was like, “Oh my God, this is great.” And when we met with the sales team, all I wanted to do was make it my own. I wanted to customize it; I wanted to change this and change that. What I learned through that process is that I do not know more than the developers. We made these customizations, and it ended up not really working that great for us. 

Some of the feedback that I got later down the road was, “If we would have helped you implement this platform, we would have told you not to customize, just use it for at least six months the way that it is, and then if you feel like you want to make some changes, we can talk about that later on.” 

We spent time and money customizing it, and it ended up not meeting our needs. We probably would have learned a lot more and maybe even had a better experience if we had just used the product the way it was designed. 

Now that I’m selling technology, I’m dealing with the same thing, but on the opposite side.  

I have people asking me, “Well, can we customize this? Can we customize that?” I’m like, “There’s a reason why we built it this way, people.” So just try to use it, experience it, then give us feedback because your feedback will be a lot more valuable for us but most importantly, for you, once you’ve used the product the way that it’s designed.  

When you’re implementing technology in your practices, just try to use the standard product first, at least for a short period of time, so you can provide valuable feedback to the vendor and then, if necessary and if available, customize it afterwards. 

So that’s this week’s Two Minute Drill, you guys.  

Hope you’re having a great week.  

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