When it comes to operational effectiveness we rely more and more on technology as a tool to support management of information and communications. The rapid advance of technology and a shrinking global market place, however, has made the decision as to finding the right technology very difficult.
There isn’t a day that goes by in which I don’t receive some sort of spam email attempting to sell me the latest and greatest gadget that is supposed to change my life forever.
So how should we decide on what is the right technology?
More importantly, how can we select and introduce technology that will actually achieve the outcomes expected?
I use the process below to assist clients with making this decision which addresses the three most critical areas to ensuring technology effectiveness.
1. Processes Optimized: What specifically are you doing today that will be replaced by technology? How effective or ineffective is your process today? What are you striving to improve upon by introducing technology? These questions uncover clear objectives for introducing technology which can ensure that you aren’t “sold” on introducing the wrong solution. Further reflection in this area can also help to identify whether technology is even needed at all.
2. Employee Skill and Knowledge: I met a business owner once who had invested heavily in a new inventory management system, only to find that employees were incapable of understanding and using the system without considerable training. Since the cost to purchase the software had been extremely high, and training estimated at even higher, the owner hesitated to invest in training as he was unsure it would overcome the skills and knowledge gap without a second significant investment. Are your employees skilled and capable of effectively operating the new technology? Who is the best person to be involved in the training in order to be able to pass along the lessons learned and train others?
3. Technology Effectiveness: With the two areas above addressed, the degree to which the technology you are considering will be effective should become very clear. The key is to fully assess the market for available solutions, and then weight the pros and cons of each system contrasted against your objectives for the technology and the existing skill set of your labor force.
Question: What technology are you currently considering and how might it measure up to all three of these areas?
© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.