Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dog Food Diet?

According to Wikipedia, “Eating your own dog food” is when a company uses the products that it makes. The idea is that if you use your own product, you’re better at seeing where it most needs improvements. According to this definition, I (Troy) have been eating a lot of “dog food” for the last five weeks! And in the process, God has given me many ideas on how to improve it. Let me explain!

As most of you know, fourteen years ago I wrote a computer program to help me stay more organized as Tammy and I developed our ministry’s financial support team. Starting out as a personal project, we never envisioned over 8,000 missionaries benefiting from it as well!

Every so often, I take some time to further develop our ministry’s financial support team. In the last few weeks, I’ve been doing just that. I’ve dialed the phone 197 times, sent out 59 emails, and met with several people face to face. That’s been a lot to keep track of. I’m so thankful for my software.

During times like this I switch roles from full time builder to full time user of my software. This is when I begin to see areas that really need improvement. Most ideas are added to a list to work on later, but sometimes the improvement is so sorely needed that I can’t resist rolling up my sleeves and getting it done! I’ve done this a few times in the last few weeks. The enhancements I added were to help me get my own job done, but hopefully they will also help others.

Missionaries in Chile learning about our software.
Just two weeks ago, I was particularly surprised to hear just this from my colleague who was training our staff in Chile in how to use this software. Most of his presentation slides were on these new enhancements I just added a few days before his trip! He said that these enhancements really helped new people understand the program better. That wasn’t my intention, but I was so glad to hear it!

It’s hard to believe it’s been over fourteen years since we first started out in ministry! God continues to make it clear to us that we’re right where he wants us, and we’re so thankful for you to join with us in helping to equip missionaries with quality tools to help them get their job done.