Legacy Features: Let Go of the Ball and Chain and Jump

6074f-1km2fezup2x9yaspunxzxtaHave you ever been in a meeting and heard, “But how will this fit in with our legacy system?”

Legacy systems can be great. They may be the meat and potatoes of your business. They may pay your bills. They need to be up to date and work like champs.

But in order to let your company enter the wonderful world of creative, innovative design, you have to be willing to jump. And when I say jump, I mean jump away from your legacy product into the unknown. You may jump and land in a pile of cash. You may jump and land in a black hole of product death. (I recommend avoiding that one.)

Regardless of the end result, you need to have that urge to try, and test, and fail, and succeed in order to innovate and create amazing things.

I’m not suggesting that you gut your entire product and rip the rug out from under your customers. Replacing core functionality requires significant research, and major usability testing throughout every stage of the design and Dev process to ensure that the changes you make will improve your users experiences.

That said, you can’t keep such a death grip on every single legacy feature that you become frozen in time. Your product will become irrelevant.

If you keep yourself permanently tethered to every feature in your legacy ball and chain, when you jump, you’re going to swing over the edge and crash into the wall with no chance of reaching the next level of success.

Treat your legacy products with the respect they deserve, but don’t forget to occasionally jump. Because if you don’t jump, your competition will… and they’ll leapfrog right over you on their way down to that pile of cash that could have been yours.

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This post was originally published on UserExperienceRocks.com

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*Thank you for your comments that lead to clarification of key points in this post.

Make Your Legacy the Gift of Life

Have you ever experienced something so powerful and moving, that you had to really think about it for a while before you could put it into words?

About 5 months ago, a dear friend of mine was quite literally fighting for her life. She had been for several years, but had finally hit the point where if an organ transplant did not take place, the type she needed to survive, she was going to die.

Our conversations before she left for Duke Medical Center were all focused on positivity, and envisioning her future after the surgery. The day she left, I was very hopeful, sending positive energy.

The days started to tick by, and I got more and more concerned, as did her doctors. She had reached the point that even with a successful transplant, it would be a miracle if she survived.

Then it happened, the perfect liver was delivered, she had her surgery, and began the exhausting and terrifying process of fighting for her life. She had to get her body to accept the new liver while recovering from having her body torn in half. And you know what? She had all kinds of ups and downs, scares and close calls, but she beat all the odds and she did it. She lived.

Her doctors and nurses continue to call her their miracle patient.

Fast-forward 5 months. I received an email stating that she was starting back to work, that she’d be in on Tuesday. When I saw her last, she was beautiful inside and out, one of the kindest hearted most wonderful women I’d ever met.  Her complexion however, reflected her illness. She was yellow, and sick and her limitless supply of personal strength and faith were the only things forcing her physical self to keep moving.

I walked into the office Tuesday morning apprehensive, I had no idea what to expect when I saw her for the first time. I turned the corner and saw her sitting at her desk, she turned to face me and she was glowing. I’m talking glowing like an angelic force was inside of her radiating outward. I have never in my life experienced anything even remotely close to what I felt that day. I burst into tears. She was standing there, happy, healthy and radiant thanks to her limitless supply of personal strength and faith combined with the incredible gift of life that had been given by a selfless individual who agreed to be an organ donor.

If you aren’t an organ donor now, please consider becoming one. You won’t need your organs when you are gone, but they can make all the difference in the world to the people watching the clock waiting for a hero to save them. You can make your legacy the gift of life.