Skip to main content

When the pen is mightier than knowledge!

The title is a mere analogy I have drawn, the topic of the post is more to do with IT and IT consulting.
I have done 2 green field implementations, one in Telecom domain in India and one in pharmaceutical retail in the UK. Most of my dwelling has been in the Marketing and Sales Force Automation (SFA) space in both these implementations. While the Telecom implementation was in PeopleSoft CRM, the retail implementation was in the Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) domain.
When we first started with the Indian implementation, we faced major challenges like loosely defined processes, inadequate change management, untrained staff etc. It is here that I first thought if IT could really help our customer to achieve what they wanted - A better CRM? On a post dinner walk then it struck me. The Director of IISC
Bengaluru had once said in one of his speeches - "e-governance is not about IT. IT is just a tool. e-governance should first start with a willingness to change"
This is the exact point that lacked in the Indian company where were doing the implementation. I blamed it on the company for being typically desi and rushing into an IT implementation just because all the competitors were having new roll-outs. In some of the meeting, I even felt like this company was like a rich spoilt socialite that wanted a car because everyone else had it.
But then when I went to UK for an implementation, I realised it had nothing to do with being desi. almost everyone was the same. Brits being one of the most thoughtful and deliberating individuals had decided on a product to implement without a change management process in place.
Without a proper process study, user awareness/education and change management process all IT companies can at best be 50-60% effective. In most implementations, nobody has a freaking idea how to calculate the ROI of this implementation leave alone judging if it is satisfactory or not. Moreover, whether the implementation will change any processes, how to sell this change to users, how to speed up the change are some vital issues that I have never heard being discussed. While everybody is busy designing integration points, scheduling batch programs and coding to customize a certain business requirement, when the users are exposed to this change they are left bewildered.
In my opinion, the first this that should be undertaken before beginning of an IT implementation is a process study exercise. This should be followed by a change management planning exercise that will lay out the focus areas where change is likely to occur, the extent of this change and how to make this change smooth. The users should be taken into confidence well before the implementation begins so that they know the extent of their involvement in the implementation and can plan their work accordingly. This also helps them to gear up their thought process so that they have a mental note of FAQs that they may need to answer. Through the implementation until the go-live and even post, the change management plan should be followed.
IT being just a tool to help things happen faster, easier and accurate, needs to play a supportive role to this change process. The scene appears very different today though. Everybody seems to be emphasizing hell of a lot on whether the computing happens in the clouds or the oceans, or whether the product needs an upgrade. These are just the tools and should not become mightier than the business itself!
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to change flat ownership in GHMC records

It's been close to a year since we bought a new flat in Hyderabad. It has been one hell of a learning exercise for the sheer amount of paper work and procedures it involved before, during or after the purchase. Buying a house in Hyderabad has been an exciting and taxing journey, so far. All through this journey, I had a desire to document my experiences so that it would help others who wished to be helped. But luck, laziness and life kept me away from this. However, I'll at least start now with an account of what needs to be done to change the ownership records in GHMC [Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation]. The first time it struck me that I need to do this is when I received a property tax notice addressed to the previous owner of the flat (we made a second hand purchase). All along I thought once I had registered with the land records department, the government would take care of updating all other records. I was so wrong! So, I rushed to the nearest Municipal Citizen S…

Hyderabad to Goa by Bike

Happy new year 2015 to you! Hope you spend hours and days on roads without traffic in the coming years. I had a dream new year eve - on the road, going home. After numerous previous road travels on this route (read here and here), this time I decided to travel by my Royal Enfield Std 350.

I was short on any sort of planning time, so decided to use my experience and just take the route taken before. 
Google maps says it should take about 14 hours to do this journey. However, we took a night halt at Raichur and including the halt, completed the journey in 29 hours.



Our itinerary, roughly, was:

30.12.2014, 16:00 - Depart from Lingampally, Hyderabad
30.12.2014, 21:15 - Reach Raichur, Karnataka 
Night Halt at Hotel Kubera Palace @ INR1400 per night including complimentary breakfast
Better option is Hoten Kritunga which we took last time
31.12.2014, 08:30 - Depart from Raichur, Karnataka 
31.12.2014, 09:30 - Puncture in rear tyre about 40 Kms from Raichur
31.12.2014, 11:45 - Resume after fixing the t…

How to change throttle cable in a Bullet

For the uninformed (you can't be if you are on Facebook), I bought a Royal Enfield Standard 350cc motorcycle on 25thNovemeber 2009. This has been the fulfilment of a long (8 years!) cherished dream.
Here we are...




After exactly three months I faced my first breakdown on my way to work on a Friday. The throttle cable snapped. Thankfully I had a spare at home and I was pretty confident I could replace it myself. Having lived with a 1984 model BajajChetak for 5 years, I was in the habit of applying first aid myself. This wasn't as easy as seemed though. I manage to get the handle side of the throttle cable out. But had issues with the engine (carb side). I checked with fellow biker Aravind (who also owns a Standard 350 that is as old as him). He said it was a pretty simple process and promised to join me in 30 mins. But once he came, we realised, RE had done some changes that had lead to this problem. Here is the issue -






If you refer to the picture above, I was supposed to unscrew …