The previous payroll application was problematic, and a replacement was put in place. However, instead of allowing her more time to concentrate on improving her team’s overall performance, one team manager found that the new payroll system is eating much more time than she can afford to utilize elsewhere, particularly the clerical side of her management role.

process improvement
Image credit: David Castillo Dominici | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can argue she’s not yet used to the intricacies of the software, and that given more time and an acceptable level of getting used to, she’ll eventually find the system easier, even a breeze, to navigate – which then begs the following questions:

  • How much time is more time?
  • Is time the only issue?

What’s the back story?

Upon further inspection, it turned out that the payroll software had been abruptly rolled out, and her team members were not given ample time to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of the system as well.

Also, prior to the implementation, the payroll department seemed to have forgotten to ask for suggestions and recommendations from the very people who would be integrating the application into their day-to-day work. The resulting distaste spawned into some sort of an uprising, making it hard for the manager to let her team understand that the software rollout was supposed to rectify whatever inadequacy the previous system had.

So much for improving a process, eh?

The importance of people in process improvement

Business process improvement isn’t just about process. It’s about people, too. Think about it. Who will make process improvement a reality without the people who believe in the soundness of the improvement plan?

Now, that’s just one end of the people spectrum. The other end consists of people who are so set in their ways and unwilling to step out of their comfort zones that they proactively prevent the process improvement initiative from happening. And therein lies the problem.

One viable solution is to change the members of the entire team, but that comes with a costly disadvantage, especially if you’re talking about a team of seasoned veterans and proven performers. The best solution, therefore, is to reduce, if not totally eradicate, the resistance resulting from fear of change.

Because this fear has not been addressed in our illustration scenario, notwithstanding the fact that some people don’t particularly relish being told what to do, it’s probably too much to expect team members to fully cooperate.

For process improvement to be a success, people involvement at all levels is an imperative.

The problem with most software deployments

The tools you choose to deploy should help you speed up the process, not bog you down or hamper execution and delivery. While the actual cost of the software is one factor to keep in mind when choosing the best software solution for your specific organizational needs, it may not be so much an issue compared to the lengthy assimilation time some software systems need for changes to be implemented and/or faulty processes to be corrected, as longer time-to-market can mean lost business opportunities.

Aside from prolonged adaptation time, which can also be caused by a steep learning curve, other factors challenging successful software implementation include the following:

  • Interruptions to a company’s business-as-usual functions while the software training is ongoing
  • Training inadequacy
  • Time-consuming data entry prior to implementation
  • Lack of post-implementation support

The second challenge is evident in the example scenario above. No surprise, therefore, that the software implementation is a bummer.

Conclusion

The software should be an enabler, not a burden – amen to that. But it should also be noted that for process improvement and software implementation to be a success, there’s a people factor to be aware of. Leaving people out of the overall process improvement equation is a huge mistake.

If the process and people parts have already been taken care of, and you’re looking to try an end-to-end process improvement software that’s adaptable, easy to use, can be put into effect within minutes, and supports API integration, Comindware Tracker can be deployed in your own unique environment for free for 30 days.