(not) A hammer looking for a nail
The Wilkinson Project Group
If you are a "building junkie" like me, it is a lot of fun to tackle a big complex architectural/engineering project. But after leading teams of various sizes in connection with projects of various complexity, I have reached the conclusion the the so-called "soft side" of operations management often controls the outcome ("it's only folks").
By this I mean that the organizational design and execution surrounding the work effort has a great deal to do with the outcome.
In the world of process design, one way of looking at what the organization does is called "workflows."
Workflow diagrams can be dry to say the least, but with respect to the design of tools to execute workflows, their definition is critical. It's all too easy to get excited about "shiny new things" in the area of software tools and lose sight of the workflow to be supported.
As our group continues to look for better ways to support the man-built environment ("After all, what could I do that would last a hundred years and influence everyone who enters in?"), organization design and related workflow design necessary to define the tools keeps coming to the surface. It means that information systems planning and management serve the business process.
Nifty software with or without workflow context is no more useful than a hammer looking for a nail.
Beware of shiny things.