The hype can make it hard to remember. You can get swept up in the constant buzz about the newest, shiniest device, the next billion-dollar acquisition, or recent credit card security hack. You can forget: technology is a tool.
Technology is The Wheel. It’s a step toward efficiency. It’s a repurposing of resources to a new and great effect. It’s an hour saved and a few dollars back in your pocket. Technology is the thing that changes the way you do business, the way you interact with the world, and the way you think about progress.
But how can you ensure that your tech is working for you, and not the other way around?
CLEAR BUSINESS NEEDS
The first step to any good technology is communication, from both sides of the table. It helps to start with a set of questions to frame the entire implementation. For example: 1. What is the need? 2. How can technology solve the need? 3. Is there a simple, packaged solution? 4. Will this require customized technology? 5. What is the timeline? 6. What is the budget? 7. What is an ideal solution? 8. How will this be managed moving forward? These questions in no way cover all of the conversation that should occur between a business and its technology team. However, such questions would do well to get the ball rolling and define the scope of the technology.
Remember, clarity is key is to building a technology solution that suits everyone. It’s important each side knows what to expect before the work starts.
Open lines of communication should be utilized throughout the development and implementation of any technology solution. With effective communication, both the business and the technology team can be sure the project is on track and to specifications.
Along with communication should also come a degree of trust. It’s important for the technology team to have time to develop and work through the details. Check-ins and demos can be scheduled for reports on progress and timelines. Additionally, if the business discovers any additional needs, the technology team can determine whether the needs are in scope of the original project plan and make adjustments if possible.
UPKEEP AND AGILE ITERATION
While great technology can create new levels of efficiency and productivity, technology does require upkeep. Technology suites can require updates, improvements, training, and general maintenance. Make sure to schedule times for the technology team and the business to catch up and discuss the successes of the project. Any negatives or future gaps should also be discussed, so they can be addressed in future iterations of the project.
GREAT TECHNOLOGY STARTS WITH GREAT RELATIONSHIPS
Behind every thrilling mobile app, beautifully designed smartphone, and indispensable software suite is a great team—one that started with a vision and a strategy and ended with a finished product. That’s why when building any technology solution, it’s important to start with a great team with which you can develop a great relationship. Then, not only does the solution has a great chance of success, but also future projects, since the team knows how to work together effectively.