Squishing a Round Process Foot into a Square Technology Boot


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While I don’t want to sound like a process guy forever ragging on software companies, here we go again. After completing an enterprise process redesign; identifying explicit technology enablement requirements; conducting a search to find the best application fit (we will have to integrate two systems), we selected Company X, which assured us they would tailor their implementation to what we’ve already done and where we are.

Baloney (or is it bologna). Sales transitions the job over to the implementation team, and then we receive a cookie-cutter implementation plan that starts with (get this) 4 days of meetings with me and my client’s management team to redesign our process to suit the software. Wow! Breathtaking arrogance! Then we meet resistance when we ask for a “sandbox” so client managers and I (haven’t implemented this one before) can start identifying what functionality we’ll use and what we’ll hide – plus familiarize ourselves with the interface and start pulling together the data they’ll need to configure the system our way. Hey, why do we need that. They’ll show us how we’ll use their system, after they straighten out our process.

They’re now starting to catch on, but it’s truly hard for them to comprehend how our process, designed before we met them, should drive their technology. Foreign concept, totally. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and remember we’re still living in the past. Before customers started taking over buyer-seller relationships. And before we realized process has to drive technology, not the other way round.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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