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3 min read

It’s The Process, Stupid

Normally I’d be the last guy to make a point with a 90’s era Bill Clinton political reference. But hey, if the shoe fits…

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Clinton strategist James Carville, was struggling to keep staffers and the campaign itself on message. In an effort to keep everyone aligned, Carville hung a sign in Clinton’s Little Rock campaign headquarters that outlined their platform in three simple phrases:

1. Change vs. more of the same

2. The economy, stupid

3. Don’t forget healthcare


All politics aside… not bad Mr. Carville. I like the approach and think I’ll borrow it. So here it is – James Carville’s 1992 Clinton campaign strategy sign re-engineered by Aerie Consulting:

1. Office 365 vs. more of the same

2. The process, stupid

3. Don't forget the user experience

Let’s unpack this suitcase a bit and break it down…

Office 365 vs. more of the same – Most of you will be familiar with the Adoption Curve. You know... Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority and Late Majority a.k.a. Laggards? And I’m sure like me, you look at that bell curve and wonder who those “laggards” are? Probably weirdos with antennas on the roof and the last known dial-up internet connections, right?... Wrong! It’s you if you’re not using Office 365, yet. Seriously. Office 365 is that transformative and quickly becoming so mainstream that if you don’t understand what it is, how it can improve business productivity and save you money then you are well on your way to becoming Larry the laggard.

The process, stupid – There are times when technology is the answer to improving your processes. No doubt about it. There are also times when your current technology obstructs your business processes. We get asked about this a lot and the one thing I can say for sure is that every organization is in its own unique state of chaos and there’s no one size fits all solution. But, there is a guiding principle that we know to be successful and battle tested. Make sure your processes are built around people. Your people. Your users. Give them a voice, get them on board. Because at the end of the day engagement trumps all, process and technology don’t mean much if they don’t get used. In fact, I’ll go out on the ledge. People, Process, and Technology in that order = solutions that people will actually use.

And that’s a great Segway into # 3

Don’t Forget the User Experience – IT used to get a pass on design because, well it was IT. No one expected it to look nice it just had to work. Time spent on UX, A/B testing, and prototyping was inefficient and silly nonsense. But then it all changed. Your mom starting Facetiming, grandma whipped up a Facebook page and your seven year old locked you out of Netflix with her smartphone. And while this was happening, digital design and UX trends turned into rules and all of a sudden if you didn’t know how to design for user experience you were pooched. Welcome to 2015. IT doesn’t get a pass anymore, and at Aerie we do our best to change the perception of what IT solutions look like. Elegant, clean, thoughtful and on trend with how people interact with the things they use to make them more productive in their everyday life. Be relentless in the pursuit of great design and in doing so you’ll be well on the way to providing great user experience. Or at least that’s how we run our shop… and the results are pretty damn good.

Thanks again to the 1990’s Clinton administration for this bit of inspiration. As always, come by and see us at AWHQ on Canal Street in Winooski. I’ll have these signs lining our walls by then.clinton2


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