Same As It Ever Was

Yes, that is from a tune by the Talking Heads, but what I am talking about here is that here we are in September of 2019, and I am still hearing from folks that while technology has moved forward, the fundamental issues voiced by businesses today, reflect the same issues we heard decades ago.

Technology has advanced and its use to automate business processes like metadata application, proposal generation, invoice processing, and other business processes are still an issue. The underlying cause appears to remain the realignment of the user community to the new ways of working.

Change management, governance, and yes, even structure of information is still a challenge. Most importantly, these questions are coming more frequently from the IT folks who are being tasked with and held accountable for better management of the infrastructure and aligning it to the business.

As I have said in the past, technology alone is not always the best or complete solution. The evidence is clear to me that in today’s world, the fundamental issues in business remain the same. Information organization, consistency, find ability, defensibility, and change management are still a challenge that technology alone has not been able to fully address.

If you really want to resolve a business issue, you must peel back the symptom statements from the stakeholders to reveal the underlying problem.

If the stakeholder issue is that it takes too long to process claims or sales orders, that is the symptom of an underlying problem. Look for the real cause. Perhaps there is a dependency on information related to this process that must be complete before the process can move forward.

Identify what a complete information set consists of and look for reasons why it is delayed in coming together. If the problem is that the information is both in digital and paper form, look for ways to bring the information into the process at the first touch point so the complete package is compiled sooner. Scan upon receipt rather than further into the process where is can be delayed, misplaced, or even lost.

Involve the users in the process and solicit their feedback on both the problem and their suggestions on how to address it. This not only provides firsthand insight, it also aids in change management by making them part of the solution as opposed to the recipient of yet another operational mandate.

The technology is there and ready, but is your organization ready for the technology?

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