How to Turn Technology Projects into Lasting Solutions
Technology projects tend to focus on a specific problem or narrow scope. There’s typically a failure or compliance issue that has some urgency. Due to time, budget, leadership support, and any other constraints, we put blinders on. We don’t take a bit more time considering the future needs to evaluate possible solutions for our current needs better. We don’t take an extra week or month to perform some minimum longer-term strategy. What other similar challenges do we face in other areas of our organization, and do we have a high level 1-3 year roadmap to solve them? Without a roadmap in mind, we may not make a vendor and technology selection that will allow us to continue to leverage our investment for the long haul.
Though all organizations are different many of these challenges apply:
New technology selection
Even with your business requirements complete, identifying, and evaluating the end-to-end processes through selection is hugely time-consuming. Anyone who’s gone through the process while performing their day-to-day job knows it can be exhausting! Someone has to coordinate all of the stakeholders, create evaluation criteria, read reviews, demo’s and feature reviews, internal audit and compliance, evaluations and POC’s, and many other tasks that tend to pop-up along the way. Ugh, I need this, but I’m already tired.
Procurement and vendor onboarding
How challenging is the end-to-end “approved vendor” and procurement process? The more important question: how long does the typical process take with all the required steps? – initiation, scoping, and approvals just to get started, generating RFP’s, vendor investigations/background checks, reference calls, NDA’s, SOW’s, MSA’s, etc. Oh my! Arg, why is this taking so long?
Building a new vendor partner relationship
What’s it like starting a project and forming a relationship with a new vendor? There are many aspects of learning about each other’s project teams and varying implementation processes and project management styles. A vendor needs to discover your unique business processes, understand your organizational environment, work with your IT group, etc., to form a partnership of mutual respect and gain a level of trust that they are acting in your best interests Huh, who are these new people? Why don’t they understand our process yet?
Change management, learning, and supporting new technology
Let’s face it, for many people, change is hard. Convincing your user community of the value of a new solution and why they want to embrace it can be a battle. The related learning process and creating and providing meaningful training can feel like you are taking critical time away from an already busy schedule. Having IT, business analysts, and other in-house staff become proficient in the technology to support it and further expand it takes even more time. Oof, one more thing to learn and support.
Let’s face it; it’s almost always easier to gain leadership and IT support to expand an existing, proven system for which you already have an infrastructure in place than to purchase a new one. It is also often useful to have Opex or other flexible spending options for growth rather than another new capital expenditure. Additionally, when you’ve previously defined a strategic roadmap with leadership involvement, you’ve already set expectations of future funding needs and related ROI. So, how do I get funding?
Even though you must perform the required due diligence and change management steps, you can minimize how often you complete them. Select a vendor that will become a long-term partner in achieving your roadmap and maximizing your investment. Select a trusted advisor with a diverse resource pool and vast horizontal and vertical experience in that technology domain. Select best of breed platform that is broad in functionality and organically developed as a seamless suite rather than pieced together through acquisition, a technology with a roadmap to meet your roadmap.
Are you buying departmental band-aide or creating a healthy enterprise?
Will the solution allow you to provide advanced capture and business process automation for other finance or line of business needs?
Will the solution includes robust eForms, retention management, and other data governance capabilities?
Will the solution support workflow, a system to system integration, and a document repository?
Will the solution be broad enough to support content cleanup, legacy system migration, platform consolidation, line of business integration, and significant digital transformation initiatives?
Utilizing a methodology to document and collaborate throughout your organization and with a partner can create visibility and consensus as you prioritize projects and select the right technology or solution for your needs. ImageSource has a trademarked methodology, the ECMECOSYSTEM™, which utilizes the 26+ years of digital transformation and business process automation expertise.
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Robert Stellick is an experienced Project Manager at ImageSource. He has previously worked at Optika/Stellent as a Product Manager and AI Senzamici as a solution engineer. His experience comes from years of experience delivering content and process solutions to end-users and partners.