Don’t forget your check-up!
So you’ve just implemented a new IT system in your company. Everything went smoothly: all features are up and running, and users are all trained up. Your old application, or even your paper processes, are a thing of the past.
You’ve turned a new page and are now starting a new chapter in the history of your organisation. Everything is going swimmingly! But for how long?
An IT system is like a living, breathing body: it’s never perfect, and it suffers from wear and tear. And as with a body, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular check-ups will allow you to detect and fix problems quickly, nipping them in the bud.
But when you do start feeling symptoms, you go see a doctor, who treats them. Therapy is complementary to prevention.
IT projects are made up of several phases, including implementation. Once implementation is completed, the project is handed off to the supplier’s support department. This team is in fact your IT system’s medical team, acting as main contact between you and the client.
When system glitches are found and flagged by users, the client organization contacts the supplier for therapy: a symptom is detected and needs to be addressed. These irritants can be varied: poor execution optimization, too many clicks to perform an operation, or overly lengthy execution time.
But within the client organization, users have a job to do and don’t necessarily take the time to flag all the issues with the new system. As long as it doesn’t keep them from doing their job, they think, it just isn’t worth the hassle. This means that the supplier’s support team isn’t always aware of all the irritants faced by users, which go unaddressed.
Just like a living body, an IT system should get a check-up once a year. This preventive strategy enables you to assess the overall functioning of the solution, address any problems, and give users a chance to report irritants and take an active part in maintaining their system. In fact, all stakeholders should always stay in close contact, to maintain the working relationship they had on day one.
Ideally, the yearly check-up should be executed without impacting users’ work. It should yield a list of the various issues reported and potential solutions. It should include all departments that use the application in order to gain a complete picture of the way the solution is used. Finally, a physical inspection can also be useful, for example to check up on servers or on data integrity.
Once the check-up is completed, it’ll be that much easier to execute a solution plan which will have a positive impact on users’ work. This will be perceived as a value-added feature of the solution, the holy grail of any organization!
Since technology is always evolving, our vision of it is too. This means that new needs might be identified as the solution is used; and it’s never too late to enhance it.
Don’t wait, make an appointment with your doctor today!