Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
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Back when I worked with SolutionMakers, my boss liked to craft our work product to go into list view as the preferred experience when a user navigated from one module to another within a designed application. I, on the other hand, preferred to go into form view and constantly had to fight my years worth of muscle memory as I coded solutions to meet our corporate style guide.

The style guide has come up again in the new day job, as we begin to look over the landscape of FileMaker based solutions within the organization. This might sound odd to anyone that doesn’t know me but I’m pretty much a “go with the flow” type of guy in the office. I have many more years of FileMaker design under my belt than my corporate cohorts but that doesn’t really matter that much in regards to style guides.

A quote from this months PMNetwork magazine has kept turning around in my noggin since I consumed it. This article focuses on project management methodology but I’m applying it into so many alternative directions since I’ve reentered the cubicle nation.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

I recently became a little agitated as I plowed through a collection of posts on the FileMaker TechNet developer forum. A developer had posted a question in reference to a debate between his client and himself about the database design. I was amazed and disappointed with the number of voices that chimed in “the developer needs to set the customer straight” responses. To each his own but that type of mentality will likely cause more problems than resolutions for the in house developer.  

An open mind is a great asset, particularly when there are opportunities to blend conflicting requirements into a mutually agreeable solution.

Heading back to my opening paragraph, how can a blended implementation be achieved? You can build a preference area (either globally or on a user level) that branches the experience. This method is not much of a problem in a smaller solution with a few modules but a tedious endeavor for large solutions. A more elegant solution may be to craft the experience into the navigation buttons


I don’t know where this technique originated but I recently was re-introduced to it by one of my coworkers. I think he had picked it up from one of the Soliant Consulting FTS training classes or example files. The idea is to add the list view option into the navigation button so that they can see the form and list view options together.

A blended implementation that is simple, elegant, flexible and scalable!