Lessons from (Re)Starting Eduity: Focus on functionality5 years ago
A lot of things I’ve learned over the last two years I supposedly knew already. Funny thing is: Knowing for real is very different from knowing in concept. The smart thing to do is plan experiences so you learn a little at a time, with minimal risks, while positioning for major leaps.
That’s not what I did.
Fortunately, I didn’t leave myself too wide open, and made good progress. Along the way I've learned a lot about how not to develop software. One thing I learned that I already knew is:
Focus on functionality. This is the other side of my first lesson—start with a problem and build a product—and something I feel we’ve reasonably well with Eduity. Functionality ties the product to the problem. What is this thing supposed to do? What problem does it solve? Focusing on functionality means understanding what users want and value, as well as how the product works.
Eduity has been focused on functionality from the beginning (although the functionality has evolved a good bit). Eduity’s core function is workforce planning—collaborative workforce planning. It is to function as a common, shared platform for documenting current workforce situations, projecting future needs, and sharing information about both.
The goal of all planning is to reduce uncertainty, especially for the purpose of working with others. Others have the information you need for planning, and your plans affect others. So, connecting is a core Eduity function, too. Workforce planning is most powerful, we believe, when it involves everyone. Because everyone owns their own capabilities, and individuals decide how to develop and employ their capabilities, workforce planning must be open and inclusive. At least that’s the idea.
One challenge is to explain collaborative workforce planning to others. It’s is such a new and different approach. Another challenge is to test our beliefs about collaborative workforce planning functionality: Will people use it? Will it work? Will it create value?
Over the last few years, multiple people counseled me to create mock ups or a non-functioning “prototype.” Those artifacts have been part of the process, but real functionality is critical. You can’t test a hypothesis without a functional product. Others have to experiencing how it works and what is does. Only then can you get meaningful feedback.
Eduity is close to that point. Our up-coming alpha-version will provide basic job-mapping functionality, which we believe is the foundation of collaborative workforce planning. We look forward to your feedback. As we’re improving the job mapping functionality, we’ll also be adding social functionality for you to share, rate, forecast, and comment on jobs, and collaboratively edit them.
Sign up with Eduity to stay informed and be the first to try out job mapping!