When it comes to implementing technology three competing forces of People/Process/Technology need to be held in constant balance for success to be realised. A bias toward either of these priorities will push the implementation toward an outcome that isn’t optimal and thus under mine the investment and the value realized and or derail the project altogether.
The number of people i meet who see technology as the saviour of all things never fails to baffle me. We definitely want to use technology to automate the mundane and trivial stuff people do in their days… but not everything needs to be automated, or for that matter should be. The wish list that people bring to project can be exhaustive…these are usually best left at the door, or brought with and discussed as concerns. The best approach, proven time and time again is to take what is available out of the box, use it for a while 6 months and then commence an optimisation program which is focused on releasing bottlenecks and streamlining processes to release productivity. Go live is only a step on the path.
On the other hand, People are usually under biased in an implementation because so often their competing priorities trump the extra training, extra team building and extra effort to bind and build the soft elements which are critical to the implementations success.
Process is the equal bias more often then not in an implementation, though it’s the prioritization of process which tends to trip the project. More often then not a new technology project is founded in a desire for new processes, new control, new efficiencies and yet, new process coupled with new technology can often be too much change for people to bare at once and so people get overwhelmed and choose and alternative path. In my personal experience, a better plan is to move onto the new technology platform with a ‘familiar’ process, and then go through a process of adjusting and improving those familiar processes over time under a program of continuations improvement.
Though counter intuitive on first glance technology projects are all about people and process, the technology is just the tool. When you build a house do you focus on the house, or the hammer used to make it. Thus, Investment in technology can yield incredible results for business, and investments into platforms like NetSuite have a better chance of realizing those results then others because of the blend of best practice process and customisation ability available inside the platform. But, it is the balance of People Process and Technology which creates the outcome, not technology alone and it is the successful implementation team which has discovered this balance before they start their implementation project.