The self-written software for process automation
. In large powerful companies, there are always department heads who, out of the best intentions (to save money, make it more convenient, just do something, get a promotion), offer to start sawing their own Swiss knife. I happened to see self-written analogues of WordPress, Jira, a social network for employees. Such software is characterized by a strange design, lack of documentation, broken buttons and links, a general feeling of abandonment. Of course, there are success stories of such bicycles, but the main thing is to stop in time. Here is a cool case of closing your failed internal project.
Do not rush to buy new software, use existing tools, signs and automation scripts while possible. We didn’t buy a CRM for ourselves until we reached the limits on the number of lines in Google Spreadsheet, and after that we started creating a new file for every day, and gave up only after unexplained errors appeared.
Don’t choose a tool just because your colleague or boss has successfully used it at a previous job. Install three of your main competitors, compare features and cost, read detailed reviews.
If possible, try to buy software from the same manufacturer’s line. Many people buy a whole package, for example Office365, and do not even know what is included there.
You should not use open source or cheap software just because of savings – it may end up being more expensive. For start–up companies, the cache is everything, but with growth comes the need for quality.
Write to support, ask for new features, ask for an extension of the trial period. This will not work with corporations of good, but small and medium-sized companies are quite willing to make concessions and are happy with constructive feedback.
Try using tula harvesters (wiki + project management + messenger + drawing board + kanban). Here are some examples: Podio, Airtable, Wrike, Fiber, Notion.
Check the software integration capabilities via the API. Your business processes should have a minimum of manual steps. As a backup automation option — RPA robots that can click on the user interface.
Just buying software is not enough – you need to train employees to use it, collect feedback and usage statistics. Many people out of habit will continue to use notepad and calculator, save local copies of final_final_v2.wtf files and make stickers.
Appoint a person responsible for the software in the company to deal with the selection of tools, purchase of licenses, tracking limits, automation and integration, cost optimization.
I did not write about all categories of software, only about those that I had to deal with, and did not mention specialized software – IDE, Photoshop, etc. It will be interesting to listen to your stories about software in the comments: what problems and with what they solved, which hipster tula you use, how you save, optimize and automate, how solutions with ML, blockchain, VR help you.
Are you ready to implement KCS (knowledge-centered support)?
The first and most important thing I wanted to draw attention to is the readiness of the organization to implement such a class of systems. Moreover, this readiness is not expressed only by the desire of one person and the availability of a budget for implementation, but is manifested precisely by the readiness of the organization as a whole to carry out full-scale work on many fronts of your business processes. How can this be verified? Look at these items:
The company has an understanding of how the KCS methodology can improve its business processes;
Support of the idea by the management and the opportunity to secure the responsible person;
Willingness to change corporate culture, values and indicators quickly enough;
The presence of people in different departments and at different levels of the company who are ready to implement new processes and adopt a new culture (albeit a little, but they are needed);
Willingness to reduce the requirements for indicators during the implementation of knowledge management.
That is, if there is no readiness for implementation, then you should first carry out this preparatory work and only then deal with the choice of software.
Where to look for software
Suppose that the organization is ready for such changes, the top management approved, supported and showed willingness to make changes in the minds of employees and spend a little or a lot of money on this matter, then a natural question arises. And which software to choose? Which vendor is better, etc.
Since advertising is not welcome on Habra, I will not give selections with links. Everything is perfectly Googled. Marketing and SEO also work for those who are engaged in this field. I will share just one link to vendors that are recommended directly by the consortium itself. However, it is worth noting that there is not a single domestic supplier represented there (and there are!), and now it seems to be fashionable to use patronymic software more economically. Well, patriotic too;)
Instead of the conclusion
That’s all I wanted to write. I just wanted to convey the idea that the software is secondary. The primary desire is to change something in the organization and the availability of opportunities.
p.s. I would be happy to write more on this topic, but unfortunately, I have gained little practical experience here, and now I am engaged in a completely different field. If you would like to learn more about KCS from a more practical point of view, then please write about it in the comments and answer a simple survey. Moreover, it is desirable to indicate in the comments exactly what issues you would like to work out and what problems you are concerned about. With a significant response, I will contact my colleagues who continue to work in this area, and we will definitely come up with something, how and in what format to write about this topic on habra.