As a software enthusiast, it pains me when shiny new software gathers dust on the shelves rather than unleashing the business value it was built to deliver. 59% of managers blame IT when users fail to adopt software and 23% blame software vendors. In our defence, my mother taught me that if you point a finger at someone else, there are 3 pointing back at you.
Old Habits Die Hard
My personal theory is that successful deployment, training and change management are only half the battle won. We can take a horse to water, but drinking involves software users coming to the party. Just as good habits take a lifetime to learn and a moment to break, so changing old habits takes time. And time is the one luxury most users are too busy to enjoy. Yet good time management principles teach us that we need to focus on the things that are important and not urgent if we want to build capacity. I always laugh when someone tells me they’re too busy to save themselves time. Because ultimately, that’s what software does for users.
Experience is the Best Teacher
We have incrementally rolled out several new software systems in our own company this year. And it took me a while to change my old habits. But when I look back at the old manual systems we were using and compare it to how much easier life is now, I feel satisfied. It gives me strength to jump the next hurdle and remove the next bottleneck. Slowly, slowly, one sip at a time, we’re drinking our own medicine. And it’s doing us good. Try it! You might be surprised at how much easier it is than you thought, and by how much time it creates for you to do more interesting things than manual drudge.
Time to Spring Clean
As 2010 dawns, I hope you will dust off the software that remains unused in your company. Let it breathe new life into your work and inspire you to grow. Is there anyone duplicating work in your organisation? Look for bottlenecks and onerous manual processes you can apply software to improve. Can you simplify and shorten business processes by involving technology? Embrace software. Use it: slowly, gently, softly, one step at a time. Aesop showed us more than 2,000 years ago that slow and steady wins the race. You can do it! No one else can do it for you.
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