|Posted on May 18, 2010 at 10:19 AM|
Having worked inside IT and consulted with many IT and business leaders, I have to state upfront that I am a fan of technology. Some would say I’m borderline geeky! I believe that every organization and most business functions need technology to reach their potential.
Technology can create whole new industries and change the fabric of business.
But mostly, it doesn’t. Doesn’t improve things as much as expected, doesn’t change the way organizations run and doesn’t live up to the hype.
Technology’s role in building process capability
A poorly designed business process automated by technology is just a poorly designed business process that may execute faster. Automating existing processes without a good look at how they can be designed to use fewer resources, produce better products, improve customer service or retention, increase fundraising success etc is just leaving money on the table. You must have a clear picture of the goal of the process and how that goal helps the organization.
Technology’s (hardware, software, networks or infrastructure) role is to:
Technology plays an enabling role. A very important role but not the only one. People have to execute the process. Leaders must oversee the process and support the people executing it.
When process improvement projects are called technology projects (because they happen to be implementing a new system), they are set up to produce subpar results. If the “project” is just about the technology without considering the people needs and skills and the leadership requirements, the “project” is building a one-legged stool. There is no balance and it will not work well.
In the next post I’ll explore technology’s role in building people and leadership capability. As with building process capability there is promise, yet too often it is unrealized.