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Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class wpdb in /homepages/40/d130640441/htdocs/Blog/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 306

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Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /homepages/40/d130640441/htdocs/Blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1266

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Technology | Insight Edge
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Don’t Make the Same Mistake as Your Peers! Minimizing Software Purchase Risk

Posted by admin on December 11, 2012 under Enterprise Architecture, Operational Performance, Process Improvement, Technology | Be the First to Comment

If you are like many of your colleagues, you are looking for ways to increase the cost effectiveness and efficiency of your organization, and one of the ways companies do that is through automation of business processes – particularly those which are paper-intensive or manually executed. However, did you know many organizations are literally throwing away tens of thousands of dollars or more on software which never gets implemented?

Here are a few real stories:

- A government health agency spent $100K on records management software. When the vendor arrived to implement, they couldn’t do it. The agency had to start over, and none of the work was reusable.

- A healthcare management company spent tens of thousands of dollars on data management software and services, but the vendor couldn’t implement the software. The company tried again, and almost failed a second time. Even now, after $1M+ spent on software and services and 18 months of staff time invested, they still do not have a system in production.

- A life sciences firm spent $500K and three years trying to implement information management software. They even went through a system upgrade during the development, and still did not implement. They are now starting over.

If you have new business software in your budget for next year, please stop and consider these suggestions about how to minimize software purchasing risk.

Fifteen Signs Your Software is Not Working For You

Posted by admin on October 6, 2010 under Enterprise Architecture, Operational Performance, Process Improvement, Technology | Be the First to Comment

In this age of technology, we rely on our software systems to automate many of the manual tasks our employees do each day. Unfortunately, however, many times the software actually gets in the way of what we ask our employees to accomplish!

Whether we made bad software selections initially, or we automated manual processes without considering how to leverage software to work smarter, there are some consistent indicators which highlight software as the roadblock to efficiency and effective operations. Here’s my list of 15:

  1. You use spreadsheets and word processing software to do the ‘real” work you need to get done.
  2. You have so many problems with the system that the IT Help Desk is on speed dial.
  3. You don’t even bother calling the IT Help Desk anymore with a problem – you just “work around” it.
  4. You’d rather walk across hot coals than log into the system.
  5. You spend more time complaining about the system than working in it.
  6. You make excuses for the system - even to customers.
  7. You can’t provide the information management wants when they want it, so you make up the answer.
  8. You have to submit a report request 24 hours before you need the information.
  9. Reports are only run once per month, and weigh 25 pounds when you get them.
  10. You are generating reports for people who don’t use them.
  11. You have an entire list of “work arounds” you use to get the job done.
  12. When training someone new, you don’t use the software training manual – you teach the “work arounds”.
  13. You roll your eyes every time someone says “the bug has been fixed”.
  14. Your system is so complicated that your manager comes to you for information rather than getting it from the system.
  15. You have to ask customers for information they have already provided.

What have you seen which should be added to this list?

Don’t let your software stand in the way – do something about it.

Does Technology Really Replace Employees?

Posted by admin on March 5, 2010 under Process Improvement, Technology | Be the First to Comment

This week I was watching an early business news show on which one of the announcers made a comment about how companies had cut costs so deeply in order to survive, they were concerned about hiring employees back too soon. Profitability is still somewhat elusive, and the cost of hiring staff (especially considering the high costs of health care benefits) poses too much of a risk on the tentative nature of our corporate recoveries.

Instead, according to the reporter, companies are turning to technology investments to streamline and optimize their performance rather than rely on the “human factor”. After all, technology does not require a health plan. Or, does it?

I certainly understand the apprehension about hiring - the economic realities are still too uncertain to invest heavily in staff. However, it is just as imperative that organizations fully consider the significant investment that will be required when implementing or upgrading technology in an organization.

Even a moderate upgrade requires a significant investment in hardware and software resources, as well as human capital resources. And, without staff involvement in the project, success may truly be challenging.

One way to ensure success of your next technology project is to conduct a thorough analysis of your needs. Start by understanding your current environment, and what you plan/need to achieve. An in depth understanding of your people, current capabilities, technology, and your expectations is critical in determining where to invest. After all, if you make a bad decision by rushing into implementing technology, your technology will require a health plan of its own - a costly one in terms of time, money and wasted opportunity.

Several years ago I wrote an article on this topic. I think the ideas are still relevant and timely.

I’d like to hear your comments on this subject.

Why Technology Projects Really Fail

Posted by admin on February 6, 2010 under Process Improvement, Technology | Be the First to Comment

There is a lot of literature about the reasons for the abysmal success rate of technology implementation projects. We blame the project management skills, the end users (if you can imagine), management’s lack of support and/or interest and so forth.

While all these may contribute to the demise of a project, the real reason these projects fail is that they do not address the underlying business problem being solved. The first step in any technology project needs to be the careful, systematic definition and assessment of the business problem. If you cannot articulate the business problem you are addressing, you have no business even starting a project! For more, see our latest article.


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