System slow
Author: 
Guy Debrabandere

In my last blogpost "The system is slow again..." I talked about performance bottlenecks and how infrastructure can impact that. Today I will be treating the applications part. I will not talk about the technical part of applications but rather how the applications are established.

Applications

Applications are the heart of business, and the future as well. Not physically, but virtually.
They hold your stock, your invoices, orders, payroll, just name it. Just imagine being without "the system" for a day. You're completely blind.

That being said, it's there to speed up the process, to make things easier, more structured, and available to you 24/7. To give you an edge towards the competition, to make analyses and decisions for the future. You need it to be tailored to your needs and yet to be flexible enough to go with the changes around you. It's not a bad thing, it's there to serve you, so take care of it.

Good practice

  • Automate 90% of your workload, but leave 10% manually. Because that 10% would make it overly complex. There's a reason why you kept it for last.
  • IT serves the business, not the other way around
  • Do not be afraid to rethink your business process. Do not take it as criticism, but rather as a challenge.
  • Do not change your specifications every forth day because something came up. Take the time to structure them in an orderly and explanatory manner. Involve someone else in the process, ask for constructive feedback of your colleagues and don't be afraid to think outside the box.
  • KISS: Keep It Simple, Silly. Start from the basics and work from there. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. 
  • Don't fall for the cliché "I have always worked like that", Build a strong case and show the benefits. If you can convince yourself, then they can be convinced too. If, along the way, you find some improvements for yourself, don't avoid them, tackle them and talk about it. Be open for alternatives and keep an open mind.
  • The hardest part is to define what you want and explain it towards the person who will actually make it happen. What is 'normal' to you may not be so for someone else and vice versa. Be open for another person’s opinion, an improvement, and a change in the way of working. And I'm sure it will work out for the best.
  • Last but not least: you know the business like the back of your hand. Use that knowledge to work together and make something exceptional for the whole company!

As a former programmer, technical analyst, end-user for several applications including EASI's Business Software and currently being a system engineer, I've seen practically all sides in such a process where features for applications are established. I firmly believe if one can find the other, they can make astonishing results and make things better for everyone.

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