Jack
Jack Jack is a developer focused on product innovation and pushing the boundries of current technologies.

Software, People and Process

Software, People and Process

Software is not the ultimate solution to any problem. It goes much deeper and deals much more with culture and process.

When Software

Truthfully there’s never a bad time to implement software applications for productivity in your workplace, but sometimes software isn’t used to its full potential and we sometimes see process become lost and a lack of productivity insue. Take a social network with zero users as an example. It’s not fully useless (you can post and then view your own posts through time), but it doesn’t provide to its full potential. With software like this, application functionality ends up lost because people disengage, and then the software is either left unused or under utilized. The problems with organizational software often boil down to little training and guidance from management, and users not taking away anything valuable from the system. The applications end up in one of two places: trash or limbo. We see the two fixes to this problem being a shift in culture and change in current process.

Software Graveyard, where applications are buried

More often than not, the tool in the software graveyard is the one that is pushed because someone higher up in management heard it worked somewhere else and hit copy-paste on their current organization. It could also be the tool that was never configured properly, or the tool that becomes out of date and can’t be modernized due to data constraints. All of these applications end up being pitched, and sometimes with crucial data as the cost. At the end of the day, some software is no longer used because it provides no more value.

Under Utilized Software, wrong tool but does the job

The other type of software that runs into problems in the wild is the under utilized software. This includes anything from specialized software that is highly configurable all the way down to basic kanban boards. The software could be doing more, but people have the lack of training and knowledge to use it to its full potential. There are solutions to taking away more from under utilized applications.

Solutions

A shift in culture and a change in process are both solutions organized to capture value from the application, but they do so in different ways. It should be of note, many teams operate in many ways and there is no one right way to do something, but there is always opportunity for improvement.

Shift Culture

It can be difficult to change the mental models of everyone in your organization, and a shift in organizational culture doesn’t happen overnight. It can take months and even years to change the culture of an organization, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. If you plan to push out a mandatory software application across your organization, someone must take ownership and commit to the use. This ownership will provide guidance and support, and it will encourage everyone’s use and allow for all around better results. There are a few ways to do this type of shift: team level, department level, organization wide.

Change Process

Maybe the software you currently use doesn’t fit the current process for your work. The easiest fix for this is shifting the process to flow through the software to provide and extract more value. These process changes are on a case by case level, but it really boils down to a team member taking on ownership and proposing a change that will capture more value.

Support

Supporting applications can be daunting for teams and more often than not, Shadow IT often comes into play when different teams use different tools across an organization. The best solution we have for supportting multiple applications is to ensure ownership of software is transparent. Things are always subject to change, but knowing what applications to use to capture value is a benefit that many organizations don’t fully utilize. It is up to individuals to take ownership and push the change towards a more productive environment.