Do you notice products or devices that exhibit obvious design flaws? Could be some tech gadget, household gizmo, or garage tool – when the design is inherently bad, the item is short-lived or practically useless. This can be painfully frustrating if you purchased it.
Back in 1985 a friend of mine purchased a Yugo – an automobile that was initially imported and marketed in the U.S. as a tremendous value – given its $3990 MSRP. It was promoted with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty and free maintenance. The car had to undergo over 500 design changes to meet U.S. regulations and had a top speed of 86 mph, making it the slowest automobile sold in the country.
The Yugo managed to make several Worst Car lists, including TIME’s 50 Worst Cars of All Time. As for my friend, he hit a parking lot pothole doing 20 mph and his car was totaled. Referring to the first paragraph above – this can be painfully frustrating if you purchased it.
In the same context, we spend a great deal of time discussing incentive program design. Peruse the pages of our website, blog, and collateral material and you will recognize a recurring theme: soundly designed programs for the most part, succeed. In fact, well-designed programs often grow, mature, and continue to produce favorable results for many years.
This article by Paul Hebert – Take Me to the Pilot discusses the value of good program design. Citing a recent article on the University of Chicago site, he draws some interesting conclusions about program effectiveness. As Paul accurately points out-
“More often than not… any discussion on how and why an incentive failed will ultimately come back to a program design flaw. And for the record – designing incentives isn’t easy. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of psychology that go into the proper design of a program.”
I encourage you to read his entire article and the referenced study – well worth the time. Paul sums up his post with this: Rewards work in most business situations. WHEN DESIGNED APPROPRIATELY.
We agree! In fact, we so agree with the importance of good program design that we offer our expert consultation at NO CHARGE. Contact us to discuss your next program – to avoid a painfully frustrating experience.