Technology Changes: A Group Effort

Firm A: Technology specialist got a new email provider. Prior to this, there were no discussions with database management team of how to integrate this new service with their data platform. How would new or updated records be transferred, opt outs be managed, demographic changes be reflected?

Firm B: In an information services company, the marketing dept. signed a contact with a large marketing automation software company. They then turned it over to IT with the directive to implement this with their current database software. Since IT was unaware of this purchase until after the fact, no consideration had been given to if or how complicated this integration would be, whether this was a good fit, or the costs for building the data communications.

As our technology platforms multiply and get more complicated to integrate, it is imperative that teams work together to find the most appropriate, flexible, cost-effective, and user-friendly option BEFORE a contract is signed.

Multiple user groups should be involved in the final testing testing of a new system—users from events, e-media, subscriptions, membership, research. Listening to the pros and cons of this system from a variety of intelligent voices can help give a new perspective. Also, when others are consulted, I have found the buy-in to change improves. Why invest in a system that no one ends up using?

There should also be an objective project manager who keeps the process moving forward and looks out for the organization’s best interests. Often the different user groups will look at these explorations from how it impacts just their department. They are not aware how this change will impact the entire organization’s processes to hopefully streamline workloads, learn more about customers, and improve the bottom line.

The project manager can be an internal or external person. I have done this from a consultative role for several firms.  If you do hire an outside consultant, find out their relationship with the companies under consideration. While we are all familiar with different firms, I do not think that as consultants we should be financially or otherwise tied to firms we recommend, unless full disclosures are made.

And if you have yet to lay out your STRATEGY for a new database or technology platform, be sure to read my recent post on this topic.

The journey continues.   C

How far will you stretch?

Why are we so afraid of our career dreams coming true? Looking for a new job? Trying a new business venture? Expanding our hobby into extra income?

At work, we are so swamped with the tasks at hand, the minutia, that it can be hard to think beyond the current project we have in front of us.  But if we don’t take the time to hope ,to plan, to actively think about where we want to be in the future–what and where we consciously want to be–the next time we look up to take a breath….5, 10, 15 years later…..we will still be working on a similar project. Frustrated, bored, tired, limping slowly but busily through the day. Satisfied? I don’t think so.

Last week on the TV cooking contest show Chopped I heard a young chef, right before she knew she won, say something like “your dreams should be so big they scare you, or they aren’t big enough.”  Are you willing to stretch this far? It made me think, that is for sure.

If we risk to take the stretch, we make ourselves vulnerable for criticism, debate, failure, which can be fearful. But, we also open ourselves to expressing ourselves, finding our voice, freedom, happiness, and hopefully yes–financial rewards.

Maybe you can’t plan an entire life or career change now.  So take tiny steps–join a networking group, take a class, find a mentor, research a new career, make a short-term list of goals to accomplish in the next 6 months. Hopefully in that time you can make some smaller tweaks in your job which will give yourself the confidence to keep moving ahead.

The journey continues.

C