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3 Questions to ask around People, Process, and Technology

By Imran Syed

When I was a younger one of my most favorite memories were centered on going for drives with my father; and yes gas prices back then weren’t what they are today. What always surprised me about the drives was that some-days they’d last for hours and others they’d be relatively short. As I gazed at the clouds and scenery around me my father would often end up at the same final destination. What took me a decade to understand was the difference between the days we’d be on a long journey verses the shorter journeys all while reaching the same end point. Do you have any guesses?

The days the journey was shorter my father knew where he was going.

I was recently fortunate enough to visit a remarkably fast paced, growing, and engaged airline company. The premise for our visit was centered on accountability, fulfilling on promises, and helping the organization demonstrate value from their technology investment. Sound familiar?

What brings us to this point? The dreaded “red zone” or however your organization classifies this. It’s when a misalignment of brand promise has occurred by either the people involved, the process, or the technology involved. I’ve been in this boardroom many times and as I observe, actively listen, and understand the people and businesses in front of me I challenge my customers and myself to ask these set of questions. I would encourage many of you to do the same. The smart ones tend to ask these even before they see red!

People:

Do I have the right team in place?
Has turnover impacted my ability to be successful?
Are my vendor and partners true partners vested in our success?

Process:

Do we have a process for success?
Is this documented and at the heart of how we operate?
Have we instilled accountability at all levels of the process?

Technology:

Can the technology meet our business requirements?
Will the technology be able to scale as we grow?
Does the technology vendor or identified partners deliver through services and support on the brand promise?

What I found remarkable about this organization was that they didn’t lack desire, internal alignment, executive level buy in or focus. They simply just didn’t know where their focus should lie.

If you’ve recently undergone a technology investment or if you’ve been on autopilot for years – challenge yourself with the questions above. The self-reflection could be painful, enlightening, or a reinforcement of the track you are on.

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