Welcome to this episode of Power Up Your team podcast.
These days, technology is a part of every business. Every successful venture depends on technology ranging from small best-in-class spot solutions to large end-to-end business automation systems.
And as you scale your business, your technology has to follow suit.
There is an overwhelming selection of software products out there. Most of them are solutions for specific tasks. It is difficult to integrate them and avoid overlap or gaps between systems. There is so much choice.
Just think of CRM systems as example. There are so many out there. HubSpot, Salesforce, Oracle NetSuite, Monday and so many more.
And they all come with excellent features, offer integration opportunities and promise a better world. It’s so easy to get carried away by really cool functionality.
And of course, you want to make sure your business runs on state-of-the-art technology.
But what if your processes are still not running smoothly?
With every system you’re adding there seem to be more manual workarounds that your employees are coming up with. That is so frustrating.
As Founder or CEO, you may not be the technology expert – unless that happens to be your product. But you are the expert in how your business runs and so is your team.
To guide your team in making a good selection, they have to recognize that technology is not the equivalent of process. It’s an enabler. Technology needs to support the process and the people doing the work – not the other way around.
So when you implement new technology, it’s good to make sure your team has a:
- crystal-clear understanding of the existing process
- record of gaps that need to be addressed with new technology
- list of things that are working well that can’t be thrown out
- mental image of the future process
- role in the selection and implementation process
All team members who are working with the technology all the time have to be involved. By the way, that also helps with buy-in from a change perspective.
What if you are not the expert in the process?
Throughout my career, I had to lead several large technology implementations. Sometimes, I was in the role of President and P&L leader and other times I was a strategic initiative leader.
I was never the expert in the process. I am also not a technology expert. So in each case, I had to lead my team in a way that guaranteed the highest likelihood of them making good decisions for the business.
And I did that by involving them in evaluating current state and designing future state down to the click and clacks on very screen. We even looked at everyone’s role and evaluated how much they were aligned to the process.
When it came to configuring the new system, I remember we had many discussions about the extent to which we should customize the new technology to match our processes or change our processes to pick up the latest and greatest technology trends.
See there is a huge element of change management in here. Sometimes our team was fearful to change to processes away from what they were used to. We needed to make sure that employees were bought into that change. Otherwise, we would implement new technology and still have manual workarounds.
Think of technology as an enabler of the processes that are run by your team members.
Keeping a process mindset at the forefront will help to buy and configure technology that seamlessly integrates into the way you want to lead your business to the next level of success.