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WHAT A GENERAL MANAGER MUST KNOW ABOUT TECHNOLOGY TO THRIVE (THE SIX RULES OF NEVER)

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Abstract:

Have you ever experienced spending millions of dollars on GIS, Process Control, SCADA, or CMMS—but not seeing any change in your organization? In other words, it seems that you have made an investment in technology and received very little, if any, return in terms of productivity or savings for your organization?

Why does this happen? Why would any business spend millions of dollars and not expect an improvement in effectiveness, efficiency, or quality? The answer to this question is that oftentimes people don't think of using technology as a strategy to improve their productivity. They think that technology itself will lead to improved productivity—but that simply is not true.

You can't apply technology and not change what people do or how they do it and get any kind of a return. The only way to get a return from technology is to specifically design a plan to provide a return as part of your new technology.

This paper will deal with the little-known secret to applying technology for productivity improvement, showing that when you plan a technology project, you involve the organization and people who will be impacted by that project as part of a team. That team examines the way they currently do their work practices and then determines how it could be if they applied the appropriate enabling technology. This process—involving the people who will be impacted by the change—gets them to work together, identifying the ideal or best work practices. Then the new technology will enable them to implement those best practices. That's the key to technology as strategy.

Technology as strategy requires that a return on investment is proven, and it requires that results are achieved. We will show the productivity improvements that “Technology as a Strategy” provides for any utility, regardless of size.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864702785301600

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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