What's More Important? People, Process, or Technology?
What is more important: people? process? or technology? | Enterprise 2.0 Blogs Page 1 of 2
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What is more important: people? process? or technology?
By Rich Blank (/users/sharepointpmp) at Sun, 07/18/2010 - 18:46
Managing Consultant for NouvEON Consulting www.nouveon.com
I often see executives and project managers take charge of
projects and focus on process first, people second, and
technology last when it comes to change... While I understand
the thinking behind that mindset, in today's world it is very
difficult to leave the technology as an afterthought. And when it
comes to changing how organizations collaborate & socialize in
this globalized web 2.0 world, technology is usually part of the (/users/sharepointpmp)
answer. Now some argue that technology should be secondary Subscribe to RSS (/e20/users/305/blogs.xml)
to process & culture when it comes to change. On the other
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hand, sometimes the “system” actually causes the bad behavior
or doesn’t allow or encourage the right human behavior. So
what is more important – people, process or technology?
If a CEO wants to know why engineers don’t act “social” and share knowledge across teams, then it’s a probably a
people or cultural issue or incentives aren’t aligned accordingly or management isn’t encouraging it. Technology
alone won’t change that. Social behavior is not something that can be mandated or dictated by management.
Otherwise it’s just another thing we “have to do” and is viewed as a task or work. Social behavior is a two way street
between workers and management with a heavy emphasis on management ….. who needs to encourage, promote,
and reward good behavior. And the technology if implemented correctly should be there to support the culture,
enable socialization, and hopefully easily facilitate the desired behavior. I’d argue that you can’t always treat the
technology and the system as secondary to culture……as the system influences the process and culture as much as
process impacts technology.
Some corporate cultures don’t promote collaboration or social behavior because of the systems they have in place.
The airlines for example have terrible antiquated systems. And if the process is not easy or takes too long because
the person behind the counter is typing too many letters and codes or doesn’t know how to easily do something —
workers and customers may say “why bother” and everyone is frustrated by the “system”.
At a macro level, social behavior within a country is often influenced by the “system” of government. The founding
fathers of the US seemed to focus first on creating a "system" that ultimately empowers and protects people's
rights. I'm not sure if there's enough focus on "process" in government. If there is one -- well, it's probably
inefficient at best. While I don't think you can leave the "system" as an afterthought, government systems might tell
us how important the process actually is. Of course too much process & control is no good either as history has
taught us. Anyway....
Technology in so many ways today influences the way we socialize, collaborate, and share knowledge …. Today,
workers rely too heavily on email & instant messaging as the main source of communicating, collaborating , and
sharing knowledge where information gets lost and workers can't filter out the noise and simply miss or ignore the
“message”. Blackberry’s are great (I have one), but sometimes they simply add to the problem vs. make us more
It seems safe to conclude that you have to treat technology, people, and process equally if you want your
organization to become that social and collaborative enterprise everyone talks about and puts in their grand “vision”
What is more important: people? process? or technology? | Enterprise 2.0 Blogs Page 2 of 2
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