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Have you been involved in a new IT system at work? Have you had the pleasure of spending hours involved in the specification, design, build or implementation of a technological solution to help the way you do business?

Obviously I have. It’s my career and all that.

But have you also been involved in a process at work where you think: “ugh?, What?” You’ve probably been involved in something and thought that it was too cumbersome, too controlling, too slow (you name it).

I have a simple plea: If you’re going to spend big on a nice shiny new computer system and what-not, perhaps you could also consider looking at the way you do business. Are the right people involved?  A recent example was brought to my attention whereby ‘the client’ have implemented SAP (one of those whole-business new fangled thingies – HR, Finance, Procurement, Project Management etc). All good. modern, best of breed, blah blah blah, shiny and new. Great. But they stopped there. They didn’t get support and then critical mass to look at the business processes behind the system and understand the bottlenecks. They are a 2000+ man organisation, and yet the CEO signs off training requests. ALL. TRAINING. REQUESTS*

It may be symptomatic of smaller businesses, but many businesses have inefficiencies baked in to business process.  I tell you what. Before wasting money on a new system (you won’t see much benefit with your ‘as-is’ processes), why not spend a bit of time looking at your business processes? Don’t think about technology?  Close the glossy pamphlets about how great ‘systems’ are, and tell the sales man to sod off. Then go to work on your own processes.

It’s not simple, but it’s not difficult either.

*In case you’re wondering, a CEO should be looking at holistic data sets showing the return on investment (total) for training.. or some other kind of report or performance indicator. He or She shouldn’t care about the lower level of detail, or shouldn’t have time.