Technology is changing the world around us at a blistering pace and the capabilities of connected devices will continue to advance at break-neck speed. The amount of data produced and consumed, the potential challenges arising from so much data, and the future of potential make the era of digital disruption and transformation incredibly complex. The people, process, technology (PPT) framework has been around since the early 1960s and most software companies use the framework for information technology (IT) management. As standalone components, people, process, and technology are necessary for organizational transformation and management. Balancing all three and maintaining a healthy relationship among them is the key organizational efficiency.
PPT Framework Balancing Act
If you asked three IT managers which pillar is most important, you’d probably get three different answers. But, the PPT framework is all about how the three elements connect and interact. When we talk about people, it’s important to remember that roles, skills, communication strategies, and collaboration tools are included. Processes are the repeatable actions that are carried out by the people (who develop) with their knowledge that, theoretically, produce the same result regardless of who performs them. Technology is the set of tools used to achieve your goals; this can include software, hardware, and data.
Imagine a tricycle. If one of the wheels is sticking or has a wobble in it, the whole bike will lose balance and cease to be effective. Similarly, if the technology changes or needs modifications, you also need to modify the people and processes to adapt to the new tools. Many organizations look to technology to solve their biggest challenges; however, the effectiveness of the technology is only as good as the processes and people that use it.
The PPT framework encourages managers to think multidimensionally. Here’s a closer look at each of the three pillars.
Have you ever seen a motivational poster with the phrase “people are our most important asset?” But, the triteness in this phrase does little to help recognize the importance of people-related issues to a project or organizational objectives. The right people with the right industry knowledge, relevant experience, and appropriate skills can be the difference between success and failure of any project or implementation.
Three keys to people success:
- Skills: Organizations need to identify key people with the right skills, experience, and attitude for the job at hand.
- Communication: There’s no such thing as over-communication when it comes to implementing new processes or technology.
- Relationship Building and Buy-in: Relationships with stakeholders and getting their buy-in is vital to gain traction and influence people to believe and use the solution.
The process in the PPT framework mostly defines the “how” and “what” aspect. What is our current process? What is the new process? Why are we changing our current process? How will we achieve the desired result? How do we utilize the people and technology to solve the business problem? What training do we need? How will it be managed once it’s implemented?
To answer these questions, start here:
- Understand the fit: People should understand the process, why it’s changing, what their role is, what success looks like, and how it needs to be achieved.
- Start at the beginning: It’s tempting to focus on the minutia but it’s important to take a step back and identify first steps.
- Measure it twice: Organizations need to consider what metrics to track and how to measure them (and then measure them again).
- Review: It’s important to set a consistent schedule to review progress toward your goals; this helps create action plans to assess and overcome challenges.
Technology alone will not solve challenges. It provides the tools that the people can use to implement the process and helps automate some parts of the process. It’s tempting to be attracted to the shiny, new toy but it must fit the organization’s needs. Investing in technology without considering the impact to people and processes is akin to buying a swimming pool without knowing how to swim.
Here are several factors to consider when implementing new technology:
- Technology use cases: People need to understand how the technology will impact their daily activities and how it will make it easier for them.
- Knowledge transfer: Training is essential to ensure that people understand how to use the technology to maximize its benefits.
- Keep it simple: Too much too soon can overwhelm people and compromise the technology’s efficiency.
How to Transform Your Organization with PPT
Finding the right balance between people, process, and technology is a critical component of PPT framework. In addition, understanding how they interact with each other can help your organization increase operational efficiency and improve resource utilization. Tangoe specializes in helping customers audit their existing process and technology to understand what’s working and identify any challenges or opportunities. A 360o view into your technology ecosystem can help you gain key insights to make data-driven improvements. Our customer connections and relationships mean we aren’t just a piece of software; we’re an extension of your entire IT team.