The anecdote where OSS, our new website, my new book and the cannabis industry overlaps

I can see it now. This post is going to get quite a bit off-topic before looping back around to there being an OSS moral-of-the-story. Before that, we’ll touch on a few slightly more tangential topics. Strap yourself in. The ride’s going to get a bit bumpy.

As you saw in an earlier post, my next book, “Digital Transformation: Simplified” is in the final stages of preparedness for launch. Well, the book itself is done, it’s just all the infrastructure parts that are in the final stages of testing. More about that below, including a link to an advanced-order form for the book.

But let’s start where the saga begins.

The PassionateAboutOSS website has had an eCommerce back-end for a few years now. Unfortunately, the back-end software we’ve been using has a few bugs that caused fall-outs, which in turn has meant orders often needed to be re-processed manually. Not a great experience for customers or us. With a lack of vendor support, we knew we had to make the change. And in making the back-end change, we figured we might as well do an entire site refresh. It’s still stuck in a circa-2012 theme, back from when we first set it up.

We first made the commitment to refresh back in 2019. We were part-way through the rebuild, successfully adding the side-car OSS/BSS Vendor Directory site but not updating the main site, when the lead developer decided on a career change. He no longer wanted to do web development because he was forging a new career around a blockchain-based solution for the legal cannabis industry (at least, I’m assuming it’s a legit initiative after legalisation of cannabis in certain parts of the world, but I never officially asked). Anyway, that was back in early 2020, around the time we lost a couple of years for some unknown reason. I forget.

Now, fast forwarding to 2022, we decided to commit to website overhaul mark 2. We’re in the final stages of testing and you can have a sneak peak here 

More importantly, I’d love to get your assistance to help battle-test the brand-new eCommerce pipeline. If you’re in the market for some digital transformation material to read over the holiday break (let’s face it, who doesn’t want to read about digital transformation on their holidays?), then click on this link below to put in your order:

Okay so now let’s get back onto the OSS part of the story. I’m sure you’ve already noticed quite a few parallels in the storyline above and OSS transformations haven’t you?

  1. Many of us are making do with OSS that are a decade old (or feel like they’re a decade old or more!)
  2. Those OSS do the job for the most part, but they have issues that are a pain, but not *quite* painful enough to want to embark on an overhaul
  3. Those pain-points often relate to workflows that are better described as don’t-quite-work-flows
  4. The don’t-quite-work-flows are often with automations that don’t handle all variants, ending up in fall-outs that need to be processed manually
  5. The pain of the don’t-quite-work-flows eventually gets past the tipping point and you decide something has to be done, by way of a digital transformation project
  6. Those pain-points might be experienced externally (by customers) and/or internally (by the organisation’s internal stakeholders). Customers might seem more important, but you also need your internal team to be happy and efficient to optimise the customer experience
  7. Once you finally embark on a transformation journey, the first attempt stalls part-way through due to unforeseen circumstances (or dare I say it, where key stakeholders are on drugs [just kidding])
  8. The failed transformation drains your energy, so it takes a while for you to want to jump back on the horse again (and / or a lucky series of events conspires to you finding a vendor / supplier that you’re willing to recommence a transformation journey with)
  9. The main transformation often results in other adjacent upgrades being required too (eg. overhauling the entire site, not just the eCommerce engine)
  10. Once the transformation is complete (nearly complete in my case), you know the new solution is far better than the one it replaced and gives you the freedom to do new things (such as a more fully automated order and processing engine in my case)
  11. You know there will be more refinements ahead as you start to use the new tools, get to know what optimisations can be made, offer new capabilities and find small issues to fix that inevitably managed to slip through testing
  12. Oh, and the final moral of the story – make new offers to market to get a return on the time and resources invested in your transformation project – please buy my book ?

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