The Recipe for IT Implementation Success
Nevertheless there are three performance dimensions against which any new technology must satisfy the minimum requirements (adapted from Berkun, 2000):


The technology’s minimum functional requirement is that it must enable the user to at least get as much value out of using it, as they did with the technology before it. This is an important and sensitive point: in the “old” world, users typically spent a good percentage of their time doing what the new system can now do in a flash. The sensitive point is that users felt valued in the old world; they were one of the few that could manipulate their spreadsheets and databases to deliver a certain result, and that was recognized and rewarded by management. In the new world where typically the new technology does all of this in a flash, users may feel “threatened” almost; as they now have to step their performance up a notch to deliver additional value. These are the users who would “poke holes” in the new system, questioning the validity of outputs, efficiency of the new versus the old, and complaining about how much time they would have to spend fixing up the incumbent technology’s bugs.


This aspect of the technology is all about the packaging: admittedly people are naturally attracted to interfaces that are appealing to the eye. More than that, aesthetics involves how intuitive displays are; i.e. the necessary interaction with the machine must allow for the maximum fluidity of workflow, leading to an almost natural sequence of processes. Ergonomics is another important deliverable; the technology should prevent any physical strain; interfaces should be comfortable on the eye and generally should not expose the user to unnecessary risk.


The more functionality that the system front end must deliver, the more crunching is needed on the processor, and the system unsurprisingly slows down. Very much tied to the preceding section, users tolerate a certain amount of system sluggishness. However beyond this tolerable limit brews frustration, and often the source of workarounds in the form of custom-made in-house systems such as spreadsheets. However managers can fix these type of problems quite readily: increased processing power can be sourced quite cheaply and readily, and performance and price, in keeping with Moore’s law (Moore, et. al., 1999:70), will continue to improve at a rapid rate. Put differently, the solution to this problem can easily be bought.