Question your tools

June 28, 2010

I’ve seen good tools in bad use and bad tools in good use but no matter how you use a tool, it’s the reason for using it that’s the most important factor. You can always learn better ways of doing your work but if your not doing the right work you will not succeed. How do you validate your reasons for bringing a new tool into your work?

10 common reasons for using a tool:

  1. Everyone else is using it
  2. It’s free
  3. We and/or management can get great reports from it
  4. We’ve already paid for it so we might as well use it
  5. The way we do things today doesn’t work
  6. It’s the law
  7. It’s company policy
  8. It’s a customer requirement
  9. It’ll look great on my resumé
  10. It’s platform independent

See anything you recognize up there? A couple of them are valid reasons but none of them are good reasons. All of them can be factored into a decision but there’s really only one GOOD reason; it’ll help us deliver more effectively.

So what tools are you using in your work? Why are you using them? Do all of them help you deliver more effectively or are policy based decisions hindering you from doing a great job? I recommend every person and every organization to inventory their tools and reasons for using them on a regular basis. The tools you are using today might actually be holding you back.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. – Arthur Miller

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