We’ve all experienced technology pain points. We know the frustrating experience of depending on our IT systems to work for us, to ease our burdens, to efficiently manage and coordinate our information, only to be faced with the reality of links that do not work, software development that does not fit our needs, and instructions that make no sense. We learn the new systems, enter all the data, instruct our teams, and we still find ourselves beating our heads against the wall while we dream of throwing computers out the window and heading to a desert island. There are ways to avoid this all-too-common scenario, and with just a few simple steps your technology pain points can be turned into your technology successes.
Step 1: Document
Deadlines are deadlines. Work must get done. Most busy people find ways to work around their IT problems, handicapped as they may be, without taking just a few minutes to write down the exact pain points they are experiencing. In technology and in life, the task of clearly identifying a problem is the first step to solving it. Where do you get stuck? What is the recurring, annoying thing that frustrates you about your current software/technology systems? What do you wish your system(s) could do for you? Document the answers to those questions and more. Every time you experience a frustrating hiccup in your efficiency, document it. Be detailed. If you and the other team members do the same thing, patterns will emerge that will help to pinpoint the exact areas that can be fixed.
Step 2: Prioritize
Once your technology pain points have been identified and clearly defined, the next step is to decide which items are the first priorities to address. Work with your IT provider to assess the most efficient plan to tackle each issue. Be careful not to simply attack the most urgent. Urgent items are not always the most important. Plan carefully to ensure details are tended to at the most basic level, and build up from there to create an efficient, advanced system.
When deciding how to eliminate technology pain points, we are too often tempted to adapt our workflow to accommodate our technology systems, instead of adapting technology to accommodate our workflow. By documenting and deciding on your most critical needs, you pave the way for a truly custom solution that will help your business run more efficiently.
Step 3: Deliver
Having the best technology systems in the world will not help relieve pain points unless your team understands how they work and how to use them most efficiently. Choose a technology provider that will listen to your needs, work with you to design the perfect solution and then will stay with you and help train your team so you can benefit fully. When adapting to a new technology or software, the on-site training and support from your provider will be very valuable. The time spent on integrating and training will maximize the return on your investment and allow your team to feel competent and more effective as the pain points are then eliminated.
There is no substitute for excellence. Do not settle for inefficient systems that cost you valuable time and money. Once you decide and define your needs, invest in the IT solution that is tailored to your unique requirements, and work with a provider that clearly understands and can deliver quality work with on-going support. If you follow these simple steps, your technology pain points will soon be a distant memory. Tell us about your top two technology pain points. What do you find most troublesome or annoying? We’d love to hear from you!