I’m Your Huckleberry

It's difficult to find images of single huckleberries, probably because they're so small. This one was taken in Mt. Hood National Forest and can be found on Wikimedia Commons.

Last year, after rewatching Tombstone, I looked up the origin of the phrase I’m your huckleberry. (And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click that link or go watch Tombstone now. I’ll wait.) According to Wikipedia, it means “I’m just the person for the job”, which is based on an affectionate slang meaning of huckleberry as something small, even insignificant. For some reason, it’s always been particularly evocative for me… I’m sure my love of Tombstone has a lot to do with that.

We often talk about how we are asked to solve not-training-problems with training, but what about training problems for which someone wants an overengineered solution? Have you been asked to create a series of screencasts for something that should be a couple of online job aids? For software projects, could you create a framework — even a menu page — that links to off-the-shelf training instead of creating a whole new series? If the software the company is using isn’t custom, there’s a good chance that the training doesn’t need to be either… unless you can’t find any on the market that meets your quality standards.

Because I’m a custom elearning designer, it may seem odd that this is my perspective, but the truth is, creating yet another Excel screencast is low on the list of projects that keep me on the edge of my seat. And more importantly, if I provide an over-engineered solution, it’s not going to be the most effective or efficient one for the job.

It’s my job to be the ID expert — to propose and provide just what the situation needs. And sometimes that means not baking a pie… sometimes, all you need is a huckleberry.

Edited on 9/8.

  • http://www.briandusablon.com Brian Dusablon

    Seriously, if you haven’t seen Tombstone, figure out a way to see it this week or weekend.

    And, Judy, GREAT analogy. I love this topic. I constantly see over- or under-engineered solutions. For me, the challenge, and the fun, is in finding the right solution for the problem at hand. It’s NEVER just a cookie-cutter answer.

    This also generated ideas for a longer response and has been added to my lengthy draft post list…

    • http://onehundredfortywords.com Judy Unrein

      Looking forward to that… Be sure to link it up here when you write it!

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