The warning signs may be all around you. Check out the statements below. Have you ever heard similar comments around your organization?
- "I have a different number than you. What version of the spreadsheet are you looking at?”
- “Why do I have to do it that way? Can't I just pull a report?”
- “I don't have up-to-date information, Mr. Customer, so I don't yet see the transaction you are talking about. Let me do some research and get back to you.”
- “This used to work great, but now my macros get stuck somewhere. If I can't figure it out over the weekend, I will get some help from my sister-in-law. After that, we should be fine.”
Through the years we have uncovered untold numbers of productivity drains and efficiency wasters. They range from the blatant to be very subtle, but the negative impact on an organization is anything but subtle. We have identified three of the most common symptoms of an organization in need of a business process and application software “upgrade:”
Critical knowledge that should be in a primary system (and stand a chance of being consistent, shared, and accurate), is instead scattered in unverified, insecure and possibly unrecoverable, spreadsheets. Moreover, time-wasting manual processes, such as exporting data, writing formulas, and mailing spreadsheets to one another, have evolved to fill the gaps of what the systems should do.
“Not My Job”
Sometimes a system may do its original job just fine...nothing more. But needs may have grown beyond its capability. Ask yourself: Will your current systems propel you to market leadership? Your business can’t grow if your staff members rigidly do only what was in their original job descriptions, and nothing more – constantly resisting change and growth. The same is true of your systems. If they are not designed to be flexible, adaptable and scalable, they are holding you back.
Remember that modification someone authorized a while ago? The completely custom application? How about the Visual Basic coding you had done to make those spreadsheets easier to work with? Some of your critical business processes may depend upon custom code that is poorly documented and perhaps impossible to support. If one of these applications broke, could your team fix it before your business came to a halt?
Do any of these seem familiar? If so, you owe it to yourself, and your bottom line, to keep reading.