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Process Must Lead Technology

Of the many formulas, ideas and concepts that I learned while studying engineering at Western 20 years ago, the one that continues to resonate, and which has proven to be invaluable in the business world, is the following:

“Process leads technology; technology is merely an enabler.”

It is remarkable how often we see the opposite to be true. Many of us have in fact become slaves to technology; continuously interrupted by text messages, frivolous e-mails and push notifications from the latest apps, we have become unproductive and we subsequently work longer instead of shorter hours. We get hyper vigilant when it comes to the latest e-mail from our boss, client, etc., and we unfortunately seem to have a better relationship with our smartphones than with our friends, family and loved ones. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not more complicated! Yet many of us have still not figured it out.

There is so much waste within organizations when processes aren’t properly designed or thought out. The cart before the horse analogy rings true in many situations. Organizations just decide to unilaterally implement the latest enterprise software solution, such as CRM, ERP or Intranet, before even doing a proper needs analysis. Prior to deciding on the latest technology to use, it is very important to understand how your company currently functions in order to determine which tool or software suite can be properly customized to meet your organization’s needs.

I have seen far too many examples of organizations hiring Microsoft Sharepoint specialists who design and customize the software for use on the company’s intranet, yet nobody in the organization is aware of the intranet, or how to use it effectively. Typically, the CIO or IT Director will decide that Sharepoint is the best way to go when looking for an intranet solution, but will never consult stakeholders in other departments such as sales, marketing or product management. The end result is a tremendous investment (purchased software and employment of a developer or development team to customize software), but little to no adoption rate.

Many process-focussed organizations, such as NU Frontier, will employ Lean Six Sigma techniques to assist you with your projects and turn them into successful ones, your internal communication and collaboration flourishing in the process.

Simplify your life, simplify your business: let process lead the way.

What poorly introduced technology solutions in your organization have impacted your workday and cause you to be less instead of more efficient?

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