Technology won’t solve your process problems

Technology won't solve your process problems

Over the past few years I've watched as many more associations have taken to adopting project management (PM) software. On its face, this is a good thing. But my experience with my clients is that many of them are struggling to have much success with their PM software and I think the challenge for most is the same: the issue isn't the software, it's the process. That is, many associations don't really have good project management practices in place, so implementing PM software isn't really going to effectively address their project management challenges.

Without solid processes in place, the software isn't going to work effectively, if at all. (By "solid processes" I mean processes that are clearly defined, implemented consistently across the organization, and simple enough to get the job done.) This is true for just about any software an association implements, including your AMS.

In one organization I worked with, there were three(!) different PM software platforms being used. Just by virtue of having three different platforms, the processes are not the same for each system, and therefore the processes can't be implemented consistently across the organization. And thus, the software won't be as effective as it could be.

People, process, and technology may sound like a cliche, but like many cliches, it's a cliche because it's true. If you don't have the right people, using the right technology, in the right way (process), you'll have suboptimal performance. In many cases you'll have poor performance, and frustrated staff.

So before you run out and implement a new piece of PM software, make sure you have solid PM processes in place so that you can actually leverage the software effectively.

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