CulturePortfolio Management

PofE 090: Are Business Applications Popping Up In Your Environment?


Weeds often pop up in someone’s yard while they’re away, and unfamiliar applications and software often do the same in technological environments.

5 Things to Think About When Applications Are Popping Up

Sometimes businesses purchase databases, technical solutions, or software without first talking to the IT department or technology group. When this happens, the technology introduced into the environment may not fit with the current architectural plan the organization has in mind. Before a company makes the decision to implement new technology, there are five steps that should first be taken.

  1. Assess What Is Currently Being Tracked

Assessing the information that’s being tracked identifies business needs that may not have been considered. This tracking can be accomplished with a tool, spreadsheet, or other application. By pinpointing what exactly is currently in the process of being tracked, you can better identify the actual technical solution that’s needed before it’s purchased.

  1. Determine and Document Workflow Methodologies

It’s possible to utilize multiple methodologies by understanding tracked information and current workflow methodology and ensuring documentation. Think about how many times you went into your environment and used a workflow methodology that was undocumented. It’s in a couple of people's heads, so they are the keepers of the workflow process. If these employees were to leave, the organization would not be in a good place because the institutional knowledge would leave with them.

  1. Look at Existing Processes

To get a handle on your company’s culture, technology requirements and the best procedures that you should be using, you should first answer the following questions:

  • What existing processes are currently in place?
  • How are things being done?
  • Are those processes documented?
  • Are they being tracked?
  • Who is the keeper of the process?
  • Who is the owner of the process?
  • Who is consulted and informed about the process?
  1. Understand the Problems in Need of Attention

If you’re familiar with the currently tracked and documented information and the methodologies used and you have a clear handle on the existing process, then drilling down into the areas that need attention allows you to determine what technical solution is needed to address the issues. Without that crucial information, you may be implementing a solution that will solve a short-term or small problem but won’t address or solve the larger problem that is going on.

  1. Identify the Best Technology to Use

Only after addressing the first four items should you look at and establish your technical solutions. Some business owners take inventory of their current environments and processes, but they haven’t gauged them against some form of maturity model to understand what’s available and what they should be seeking.

If you find yourself in a situation where applications and solutions pop up, these processes and methodologies may help you to make sense of them.

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