Economist:Digital Revolution has yet to fullfil its promise
As Nobel winning Economist Robert Solow put it "You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics".
The causes of the Productivity Paradox includes a series of factors that everyone will recognise from everyday life including:
- IT systems which generate more work than they save;
Poor user interfaces that confuse users;
The blind assumption that implementing technology would be good;
A typical sequence which is seen in at Acme Co is:
- A problem is observed;
An IT project is mooted as a solution for the problem;
The managers which suggest a solution's have their reputation linked to solving the problem;
A large amount of time and effort is put into:
- Studying the ideal solution to the Problem;
Designing an 'ideal solution' to the Problem;
Creating the 'ideal solution' to the Problem; and
Change managing a move to using the 'ideal solution' to the Problem
Reality is far more complicated than any project manager can predict, AND factors which are 'obvious in retrospect' cause that project to fail to meet that business' larger objectives.
Managers whose reputations are threatened are forced to do unreasonable things rather than the most logical things
The solution to this recurring problem is to have a system which
- Costs little time and money to learn and implement;
Is easy to modify/iterate until a useful solution to a problem emerges
- Stop thinking 'project' and instead start thinking about continuously testing new ways of doing things;
Plan to measure before and after;
Expect the majority of tests to fail;
When failure occurs, expect to iterate or discard your test;
Keep the things which work.
The really good news is that if you are a business whose manager's reputations are not tied to failed IT projects, then you can potentially zoom past your competitors!