Creating change and business value with technology

How do you implement a new technology platform? By installing the software. Any IT-department can do it.

How do you successfully implement a new technology platform? Well, that requires a bit more.

One way is to consider Harold Leavitt’s Diamond Model and its three* perspectives for creating organizational change.  Process; as in the organization of people and what they do.; who they are. And technology; as in what people work with. 

The framework at a glance

People – consider the user-needs

For new technology to be efficient usability is key. The systems end-user must find it useful and understand the process to reach the goal: data-driven decisions.

Process – align with the business process

The business process works with the support of applications. Successful changes in business – i.e. implement a new platform – must consequently be in alignment with the business objectives. And the organization as well as its managers needs to take this into account and be supportive of it.

Technology for data driven decisions

Connection, configuration, and mobile is key. Cloud solutions and file-sharing have disrupted the market. Most organizations at scale have multiple generations of technology in place, and the corresponding data repositories. Thus making them suffer the weight of the legacy system. Perimeter-based security is consequently no longer enough.

The investment in technology may be expensive, and the return mostly found in the data-driven decisions. Consequently, ROI might be difficult to calculate. Which brings us back to people (the user).

Innovate, automate and scale

Technology assists people, conducts tasks expediently and more innovative. Regardless of business area the desired outcome is the same: Higher quality, more efficient, or quicker. Today the technology makes it possible to achieve them all.

Routine work is handed off to automation, thus releasing time for more creative and innovative tasks. The processes define and standardize work, helping people to produce at higher quality faster, not having to start from scratch every time. 

Standardization for efficiency

When people interrelate with the process, growth scales up and is accelerated. Consider how Starbucks Coffee has a standardized business model and processes used in all their shops. Going to a Starbucks in Wyoming or Brooklyn (or Sweden for that matter) is a similar experience. Failing to make people interact with the process will thus mean that it is not efficient enough.

Innovation and digital transformation to create value

When people interact with technology, an opportunity to do common things through digitalization arises. This will in turn reveal new ways of conduct, i.e. digital transformation. Pondering the difference between the merely digitized forms of the late ’90s, as opposed to the e-services of today, its obvious that innovation has accelerated growth. Failing does consequently not create enough value.

Machine learning and deep learning for automation

Upon making the processes interact with technology, the result is automation. Making it possible to execute processes far faster than any human possible could. All this thanks to technology such as machine learning, deep learning, and cloud computing. Failing this, the increase will not be fast enough.

Understanding the problem by noticing what is not working

A lot of organizations struggle with managing perspectives and interactions. But by identifying the problem, not better, not more efficient or not faster, the problem will not be identifiable.

People, process, and technology are essential in creating change and improving outcomes. And upon successful interaction between all three, growth is accelerated.

Challenges in the utilization of assets

Organizations face some fundamental challenges at the intersection of people, processes, and technology, regarding content and data.

The challenge for end-user organizations is to identify innovative opportunities, provided by the new systems. And subsequently build strategies that connect these opportunities to their existing core back-end systems.

Getting the end-user to utilize the system correctly

Making sure that the system is used appropriately is part of the all-important change management and implementation process. The development team’s enthusiasm for a new system, might not be shared by the end-users. A reality commonly forgotten. 

The training must be appropriate for the respective roles and clearly linked to the role tasks and responsibilities. The end-user must have practical knowledge to efficiently handle the system and understand the benefits to themselves. It also needs to provide the employees with the tool set to extract and take advantage of the information. Thus, tools to acknowledge achievements and as well as efficient training is vital.

Information management is key

Organizations still need to understand and make use of the systems to solve the upcoming problems of the future. This entails creating a strategy to consolidate access to content and information and migration from legacy (content) systems.  Without it, organizations are unable to optimize the vast quantities of information under their control.

Thus, though we live in this new age of automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the framework is still valid. Any organization must take this into account, in order to grow and prosper. 

(* Originally there were four perspectives – process has originated from structure and tasks.)