I finally upgraded my phone to a faster, bigger, sharper screened model, with apps that require fewer steps to
get things done. So why do I miss my old phone with its spider web of cracks on the
screen? Because I knew just how to work with the 32% of its functionality I actually used–that’s why. My new phone still holds mysteries for me – and I’m one of those people who think instruction manuals are for wimps. Many of us use our technology just enough to get by. We adjust and make do with whatever we learned how to do when we first got it. That can produce minor discomfort on a personal level. But what happens if we manage our organization’s technology this way?
where does it hurt?
When this practice of barely getting by with limited technology functionality becomes an organization-wide approach, the effects can shift from discomfort to debilitating. Here’s a brief list of symptoms to monitor in your organization:
- File Dysplasia (Dis-place-ia): Your files are in the cloud, and on the server, and stuck in emails, and tucked on flash drives and saved on your intern’s laptop and….
- Spreadsheet Sciatica: When spreadsheets become a pain in the “lower back” instead of the productivity tools they can be.You’ve got too many spreadsheets and limited skills to use them well.
- Database Dementia A progressive condition marked by a decrease in the ability to use tools to track, interpret and report meaningful data
- Vendor Confusion – The state uncertainty when choosing between vendor pitches about why you need the next best thing – which they happen to be selling.
what’s the prognosis?
Over time, these annoying conditions will turn into tangible costs to your organization, undermining its capacity to function effectively. They are signs of an organization where information assets are not being tended to and the ability to make and substantiate data driven decisions is diminishing. Your Board members, funders and constituents begin to notice you are not as responsive to new opportunities and environmental changes as they would expect. This compromises your organization’s integrity and competitiveness. Frustration and decreasing productivity can cause staff to burn out and to seek a more supportive and professional working environment. When staff turnover, they often take both information and know-how with them, further weakening your organization’s capacity to achieve its goals. The longer these and other issues like them go untended, the more it will cost you when you address them down the road.
is there help?
If you want to interrupt the spread of these and other technology issues in your organization, know that help is available. Contact us and we’ll help you to get on the path where you and your technology are working in partnership to build your organization.