Friday, March 28, 2008

Timing of New Tools and Techniques

Timing the introduction of new tools and techniques has to be done very carefully in a project or an organization. Introducing a new tool or technique into a project or organization and expecting magical results almost never happens. In fact almost in all cases there is an initial loss of productivity or quality.

The reason for this loss is due to the following
  • There is always a learning curve for the new tool or technique to be adopted.
  • Almost always the initial use of the tool or the technique is never the most optimised or best way to use it.
  • Sometimes a technique requires a mindset change and this mindset change takes time.
  • There will always be skeptics to anything new that is introduced and these skeptics can always bring the others down.

Does this mean that no new tools or techniques need to be introduced? Absolutely NOT. There is always a better way to do things and one should be continuously improving by introducing new and better tools and techniques but some precautions should be taken when introducing these tools or techniques. Some of these precautions are

  • Use a trial project to introduce a new tool or technique with clearly documented benefits and proof of success before rolling out in the rest of the organization.
  • Ensure that there are enough trained people who have experience in using the tool or technique.
  • Do not introduce the tool or technique in the later half of any project.
  • Ensure that there is adequate time allocated for the members of the project to get comfortable in using the tool or technique.
  • Adequate training should be provided to everyone that needs to use the tool or technique.
  • The top management should advocate the usage of the new tool or technique and should convince everyone that its the way forward.

If one does all of this then the organization will be continuously improving with the introduction of new tools and techniques.

1 comment:

Kiran banda said...

Putting it simply - a tool should ease one's life at work; for example - tools that can save ur time doing a repetitious task are worth experimenting [ eg: calculating KLOC.

On the flip side, while on a serious project ppl don't like to spend time exploring a tool even though there is a documented proof that the tool solves many problems. Like you said,when & what tool u pick up and how u use it is very very important :-)