I recently came across an article on projectmanager.com.au entitled ‘Technology: Friend or Foe?’ and it got me thinking about technology, and also our relationship with technology in our everyday lives. We often marvel at how technology makes things easier for us, particularly when things go like clockwork, but as soon as something doesn’t work for us we berate it and vow and declare never to buy that particular brand or product again.
Being a software company, we are very strong advocates for technology and firmly believe that without it, projects may take twice as long and cost twice as much. So I was pleased to see that one interesting point the article made was that we shouldn’t be looking at technology from a perspective of friend or foe, but rather from an appropriate use perspective.
Technology is designed for a particular purpose, and it is usually only well suited for that purpose. It’s when we try to use technology for something it wasn’t designed to do that we run into problems. We have seen this attitude so often in project management when companies try to use software that was essentially designed for accounting to help manage projects. It doesn’t work, it’s not efficient and they end up hating technology.
If you already know that IPM is a project management system based on Microsoft’s customer relationship management tool, then you may think we are making the same mistake. But the concept of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an example of where some technologies really come to the fore. The thing about Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that is designed specifically in that way, to be used with other applications and to be twisted, tweaked and expanded. This makes it even more appropriate because it can be expanded to fit so many aspects of the one organisation. Microsoft CRM is not like other platforms where one technology is trying to do multiple jobs without the tools or functionality to do so. It has really taken the concept of appropriate use and run with it, making sure we can interact with and utilise technology in a way that matches our exact purpose, rather than hindering us and becoming a foe.
So the next time you may be getting frustrated with your project management technology, try asking yourself – is the software being used the way it was intended to?