This is the second entry in a six-part blog series. In my last blog entry in this series, I humorously drew connections between Technology Implementation, Therapy and the Kübler-Ross Model for Grief (here is the video again, just because it is hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usm9SpnHYJQ&feature=player_embedded). Now, I want to follow-through on that analogy to show the specific connections between the five steps to a successful implementation and the five stages of grief:
Step 1: Assess Needs First and Technology Second; or, Stage 1: Denial
This may seem overly simple: determine your needs first, then choose the technology to meet those needs. If you Google “Choosing the Right Technology,” you can find hundreds of articles and papers with advice, tips and tricks, but the first few that I read skip this very important step. And, I think many of us do because we think that the needs are clear.
If you think that everyone understands and agrees on the needs, you are in deep denial. In any group of people, there are always differences of opinion between needs and wants (unless you are in a room with these gradeschoolers).
So, in the very first step in your process, document the needs before you move forward with choosing the technology. Create a short list of the issues you are trying to solve. Then and only then, do your technology solution research and create your shopping list for the products and services you need. Which technologies have more than you need? Which ones come close? Do you really need a custom solution or does a COTS product work? Find a trustworthy IT solutions provider, then share your needs (not your technology wants) with them openly and then work together to determine what technology product or service you want to meet those needs.
Remember, with any technology implementation can come the five stages of grief. But, like the Kübler-Ross model, how many stages you go through and how many times you repeat those stages is up to you. Like I said, this first one is overly simple, but it is the most important step in a technology implementation to remember.
Check back for my next blog to read more about “Step 2: Determining Process and Business Rules; or, Stage 2: Anger”
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