Tech firms, top executives and pundits often portray technology as “The Universal Solution to All Problems.” Reality is more mundane and frustrating.
Yesterday, I read an excellent article titled “The Future of HR Technology” at Human Resource Executive Online. It’s a great read if you want to read some deep thoughts about what’s coming.
Let’s take a moment to think shallow thoughts, though. Instead of looking at the “50,000 foot view,” let’s drop down to ground level. The people who work at your place don’t care much about the high level view. They want the system to make their life easier. Here’s a little wish list.
Make the technology transparent. Don’t just make it easy. “Easy” means different things to different people. Make it so I don’t need a manual or help to do most of the things I have to do.
Let me “call for backup.” No matter how good a job you do at making things transparent, some people will need help figuring out how to use the tools sometimes. Make help available whenever people are working, which is all the time.
Let me use technology “in the moment.” Let me use any device no matter where I am.
Let me peek behind the curtain. Help me understand why your sophisticated system makes a recommendation. I can’t tell customers that they should do something, “because the computer says so.”
Give me time to get used to changes. When you make a change to the system, I may have to change my personal workflow. That’s not easy and it takes time.
Remember that it’s not just the technology, it’s the system. It doesn’t matter how easy to use the technology is if you’ve outsourced benefits to a company that responds to email “soon.” Business decisions and technology interact and affect each other.
God is in the details. You think your deep thoughts. The petty details matter to me.