Platform or Person?

Mountain farm along Skyline Drive, Va. (LOC)

I had an email exchange earlier today with a non-technical founder who is annoyed with the platform (a modular content management system) he has built his business on.

Apparently his CMS has crashed a few times, but it also seems to him that it’s harder for him to get support for the platform basics (templates, timely updates, readily available freelance support, creative extensions) and that, perhaps, the code is meaner and leaner on another platform.

I replied that, in fact, perhaps the issue was person related. His site is growing quite rapidly – his page views are up 86% from his previous year, his pages per visit are up over 100% from last year, and his bounce rate on the site has plummeted to just 6% – obviously his visitors are sticking around longer and using more resources from the platform while they’re there. Meanwhile, he’s got the same contract support (a couple of hours per month) and hosting (dedicated box with service) that he’s had for the past year.

In other words, the demand on his platform has changed while his technical support personnel have not. My suggestion to him is to audit the responsibilities currently performed under the existing retainer, then consider what additional responsibilities would improve platform performance. Prioritize those in order of income generation, then ensure his existing talent can rise to the occasion.

Once that is assessed, the platform can then honestly be assessed based on its actual (versus intended) use.

Often its easiest to assume stronger, faster technology is the right solution for every problem. Sometimes, though, the issue is people, not the platform.

Would an assessment checklist be helpful to you? If so, leave me a note in the comments. I have several platform assessment checklists I’d be willing to share if there is interest.

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