For anyone that’s participated in an enterprise-wide transformational project to fix a particular set of business problems, they’re probably loosely familiar with the idea of “People, Process, Technology.” Through this three-part series, I highlight what I believe are the key components of each, in order to provide a high-level framework to internal client teams as they organize and prepare for change. The output of this series will help internal teams demystify “People, Process and Technology” and drive successful delivery of value-add solutions.
‘“Bill Gates says, ‘Wait until you see what your computer can become.’ But it’s not your computer that should do the becoming. It’s you.”
– Kurt Vonnegut, Author
Part 1: People — Put the right people in place early and throughout
Luckily for us, amidst all the innovation in enterprise technology (big data tools, business intelligence, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, etc.), there is a still a need for people to create, plan, build and deliver. And last I checked, there are very few self-delivering solutions for businesses that don’t require planning and direction from actual people. Identifying the right people is the first critical element to ensuring any project or solution will provide real value.
Let’s get started with a typical scenario…
A complex business problem is identified. An executive, with help from her team, formulates a high-level set of needs (“requirements”) to fix the problem. Someone calls some solution providers; of course, all of them can fix the problem easily. The solution providers come in, perform some demonstrations and the client chooses a solution. The project starts, and the client’s project team consists of two financial analysts and someone from IT. Why does this always happen? From what I’ve seen, this is a recipe for failure and a typical scenario as leadership is too busy to participate, or as we like to say, too busy for success.
Let’s back up the bus and talk through the right way to do this…
A complex business problem is identified. An executive carefully picks her team of internal experts (see below), and they collaborate to develop an appropriate set of requirements to fix the problem. The team of experts is heavily involved in selecting the appropriate solution. The project starts, and the team experts are heavily involved throughout to advise and steer the project to a successful launch.
The team of people should typically consist of the following characters:
Aligning the “People” component to any project early (and during the project) will help ensure success.
Look out for Part 2 (Process) and Part 3 (Technology), where I discuss the importance of understanding the business process element as well as aligning the right technology to address requirements and deliver value.