White Paper

Why do my technology investments usually fall short of expectations?

If you're like most executives, you ask that question every time someone submits a request to fund a new project. Ironically, the answer is a lot more questions. For instance:

the prior situation

OR

after assistance

Do we address the work flow first, or do I automate the existing work flow and worry about fine-tuning it later? There are pros and cons to each approach. The important thing is that you consider your own situation and take the approach that's right for your team. Read more…

Do we ask the affected people about their problems (and what they suggest to fix them), or do we design a solution and present it as an improvement provided by management? Again, this depends on the particulars of your organization. Variables to consider include time, available budget, staff morale and a host of other factors. Read more…

Do we give the employees a choice about what they use, or do we just issue a mandate? Most people like a choice, but you may have a group so set in their ways that a mandate is the only way to change anything at all. Read more…

How important is it to identify problems completely before getting started on solutions? It's always best to know as much about the problems as possible before getting started on a solution, but sometimes we go too far. "Paralysis by analysis" is a catchy phrase which is often over-used, but it describes a very real problem. Read more…

When do I need to define my goals for a project? Sometimes we set goals too quickly, before we know enough about the problem(s) to set "SMART" goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound). Other times we see problems and start working on solutions without ever clearly defining what we want to accomplish, why it's important and how we're going to get it done. A structured process helps avoid both of these potential traps. Read more…

Is there a cost associated with doing nothing? In a word, yes. There's always a cost of doing nothing, but it could be a lot less than the cost of solving the problem. What's important about this is knowing what it is costing to wait. Solving the biggest and most visible problem might be gratifying, but it isn't always the best business decision. Read more…

Balance Sheet

How important is it to solve the entire problem the first time around? That might be a great idea, but it is seldom possible. People tend to learn gradually. That means when we see the possibilities of a new way to do something, we begin to think of ways to improve it that were not conceivable previously. Read more…

Is employee consensus really that important? It's only important if you want them to actually use and benefit from the solution. When your staff "has their say," they become stakeholders with a vested interest in success. Read more…

Can't I just install something and start getting results? Many vendors would have you believe that you can do just that. Our experience has shown us otherwise. While sometimes the "over the transom" approach can work, success usually requires a more studied approach. One size almost never really fits all. Read more…

What about performance targets? Unfortunately, this is an area where many otherwise successful projects come to grief. Setting targets that are too aggressive may help with cost justification, but it can lead to morale problems, employee turnover and disappointing results. Setting targets that are not of a stretch can set such low expectations that the solution never quite realizes its promise. Getting the right mix can be harder than it sounds. Read more…

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We get the right information into the right hands at the right time to make the best decision.
Huub Mourits, Managing Director, Structured Finance Services - TMF

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