Information technology was not the answer

I am working with a non-profit organization on their emergency management plan.  This work came to me a year after I first spoke to the Executive Director.  He decided to buy a software package that billed itself as an answer to their need to improve their operational resilience.

A couple months ago, they came back to me.  They remembered how I stressed the need to first document processes, identify potential hazards, and analyze resultant risks.  They had thought that the tool would lead them to do that work.  I had stressed to them the only way to do that effectively is to get all the affected people collaborating and communicating.

The different people had different ideas on priorities and how the organization actually worked.  With some hard discussions we defined those priorities and documented processes to a common understanding and agreement.  Then we were able to get to a point where software could help us.

In all things operational, companies need to solve their problems first.  Only then will they be able to use information technology to automate those solutions.

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