In my tinkering I’ve come across a few special bits of kit that aid in the various tasks I’ve set myself – some are entirely mechanical and some less so. These days modern cars have a ‘brain’ – an ecu that manages any of the engines sensors and feedback systems, telling the car when to use more or less fuel, apply anti-lock brakes etc. When dealing with any aspect of the ecu you are entering the ‘world of the dealer’… a strange land in which a dealer will plug in a cable to your car and let it tell the computer what is wrong, what needs doing and when…
I don’t like dealers as they tend to be less ‘gentle’ or let’s say appreciative with the hard work I’ve usually put into one of my cars… Imagine how happy I was when a friend pointed out that I could buy my own diagnostic kit to plug into the car! I could even (when brave enough) look at tuning some basic aspects of the car!
So I happily installed the little box with the appropriate cable and immediately got worried as the loading screen appeared … this wasn’t my weekend toy I was about to play with… it was my daily driver. Backing out of the situation I decided this was a ‘Sunday’ job and as such put the new toy at the back of the garage vowing to read the manual ‘soon’.
I never did read the manual and after a long embarrassed silence with the same friend, admitted I had half hidden the box to avoid the inherent ‘guilt’ of seeing it in my garage.
Reading forums of other owners and sharing my pain I found out pretty quickly that I wasn’t alone … and that there was light at the end of the tunnel… a proper tuning house! They would take my new shiny box of tricks, install it and set the car up for me… yes for a charge, but they would take on the risk of the work. What made me more interested still when I called to speak to the tuner was they wanted me to come with them on the test drives and have input to the tuning sessions – saying yes or no as the custom tune was configured!
The result is a car I’m happy with, it uses less fuel, goes faster and I know has a safely installed tuning box… Essentially I’m getting the most for my investment.
This made me think of my field in which I work in, where I oversee many organisations through large-scale business transformation. Buying the software solution is a solid first step but this alone may not be enough to unleash the true potential of what can be achieved.
Ultimately, when you buy a specialist tool or software solution, you need to consider the risks of what you’re about to embark on. You need to decide if you’re happy to take all of that on your shoulders and ‘make it work’. If like me the investment is a little greater than you’re prepared to just risk on your own, then perhaps engaging a specialist organisation who have experience, can make recommendations as to what works and above all will involve you in the end product … well wouldn’t that make more sense?