Process Before Technology
Before I start, technology is a wonderful thing. It has helped to make processes more efficient and work to be done much easier.
With that being said, before technology is used or put into place, the processes that technology will support should be examined. Take the time to create a value stream map or a process map and examine the process for waste. Design the future state of the process. Then define what are the changes where technology is not needed and what changes where technology is needed.
The technology should be designed to support the process. Not the process designed to support the technology. This is an issue that occurs quite often.
Improving the process first creates a better understanding what is truly needed from the technology. A company can save a lot of money by improving the process first because technology may not be needed at all or fewer components may be needed than originally thought. Also, if your put technology into a bad process all you have done is make a bad process go faster. That means you are throwing away money faster than you before because of the waste in the process.
The key to remember is the technology should support the process. We shouldn’t be putting in technology as a substitute to better the process.
Technology is here to stay. We should use it to our advantage, but we should use it correctly to support our processes, not to define them.