Unbound – chapter 3

After the discussion, Anita receives a message from the COO, asking her to come upstairs to his office to discuss something urgent. Anita thinks to herself; I believe that I know what this is about. Saw this coming. I hope that the R & D team decides to quit before getting fired.

Anita goes up to his office and knocks on the door.

“Come in”.

“Good morning, sir”.

“I think that you might have guessed the reason for calling you.”

“Is it to do with our payroll management platform?”

“yes, our clients have decided to discontinue using our platform from next month. We are going to lose all the investment that we had made in that product.”

“Loose investment?”

“Our competitor’s product is better suited to their needs. I think that the real issue was file load of the software, the clients had previously complained of the usability of the software.”

“Usability?”

“Too complicated for their HR department”.

“Sir, that means that we need to simplify the user interface, so that it becomes easier for them to navigate through the various features and that they can use it.”

“No, I have worked in the IT industry for the past 20 years, and I know that the product is good and unique. There is no need to waste money in adding fancy colours to the platform.”

“Ok, how about getting marketing team to gather feedback and finding out as to what our customers like about it?”

“Waste of time, why should we waste time on talking to customers who are happy with the product?”

He has no understanding of how customers interact with products, and what makes a product successful. Anita thought to herself. What should I do? I know that he is thinking about layoffs. I know that he is going to start with the various team leaders. Some of them are experienced extremely talented team leaders and developers. Even though they keep demanding things such as flexible work hours, the option to work from home once in a while, etc.

He needs to practice listening more often. Otherwise, we will keep losing our most talented employees. My efforts alone are not enough…

Anita’s train of thoughts is broken by the demanding voice of the COO. She snaps back and responds, “then, in that case, we should have a meeting with the R&D team and discuss the feedback with them. They might come up with some good solutions for the problem.”

“No, we have already done enough explaining the task to the R&D teams.”

“Ok, sir. Then how should we solve the problem?”

“Look for a new team leader for the R&D team that is responsible for the development of this particular software. Further, the sales team needs to do a better job of finding the customers and selling the product to them.”

At this statement, Anita loses her cool. Every time there is a suggestion for any kind of improvement, she is met with a strong adverse reaction. This COO thinks that he can do the job of his employees better than the employees themselves, irrespective of which department it is.

She decides to polity excuse herself and leaves the room. 

Anita previously had a meeting with the R&D team and the sales team. The conclusion was that the problem is with the brief itself.

As Anita heads to the elevator, she receives a call from the CEO. She responds, “Sir, I will be glad to accept the offer.”

CEO,” congratulations! The announcement will be made in tomorrow’s meeting. Also, prepare and plan as to what will be the onboarding process for the new chief HR officer.”

“Thank you so much sir for seeing so much potential in me. “

Next day, in a meeting lead by a few key stakeholders and senior management…..

“Sir, the data from the market research done by our team has revealed that the primary concern for our potential is the data security of the software and the user interface.”

CEO, “User interface?”

Another employee, “Yes, sir, the user interface needs to be simplified, as it is too technical for their non-technical teams.”

CEO, “Then, in that case, have any solutions been discussed, if not, we can use this meeting to brainstorm ideas. Also, we should address the issue of data security.”

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