by Jesse Fortune, PE, CEO, Eclipse Engineering
Throughout 25 years in business, my company, Eclipse Engineering, has seen digital technology incorporated into every aspect of firm management. With the array of options on the market and complicated internal needs to address, a starting point can be difficult to find.
The leadership team at Eclipse believes these seven key steps are critical to making effective technology decisions:
- Identify the problem. Having a detailed summary of the problem is essential, otherwise, it is easy to be distracted by solutions to irrelevant problems. When you go to the grocery store hungry, you may buy more than you need, but when you have a specific recipe, you can make a shopping list and shop more efficiently.
Example: In 2018, our firm had a key technology decision to make: the project management/accounting software that had once been a positive step forward was now posing problems. The software provider had been sold to a larger conglomerate and customer service plummeted which made it difficult and expensive to access the financial information we needed to make business decisions.
We formally identified many problems, including poor customer service, increased software subscription costs, accounting modules that required special training, and the lack of free access to our data within their program.
- Engage the creative brain. Engage in a classic brainstorming session to discover useful ideas. Be in a positive environment with no time constraints and ask lots of questions. Can the problem be solved internally? Do current staff have skill sets that could contribute? What are external solutions?
Example: Along with our accounting, leadership, and IT teams, we identified several possible solutions:
- Do nothing.
- Choose different proprietary software.
- Return to QuickBooks, which had been used before, with self-generated reports.
- Develop our own software.
To find out what we did, read the rest on the Zweig blog!