One of the data management topics Phil Simon and I have discussed on the Knights of the Data Roundtable is the Technology Carousel, which is the tendency for organizations to repeatedly replace technology after failed projects or initiatives, as if using the wrong technology was the root cause of these failures.
Although sometimes the technology is at fault, more often than not the real reasons for failure are poor communication and collaboration among the people responsible not just for the technology, but also the business process, data and other aspects of the project or initiative.
Organizational politics often make it difficult to conduct an effective post-mortem investigation. It is easier to blame the technology than it is to blame the people or the business processes. Blaming the technology lets people save face, but also lets the organization ignore the people and process issues, the communication breakdowns and any other collaborative dysfunctions.
When these non-technology factors are not addressed, replacing the technology is not going to help. Technology can not transform corporate culture. Technology can not fix broken business processes. Technology can not make people be willing to communicate and collaborate with each other.
It is easier to blame the technology, but replacing the technology isn’t going to make the next spin around the Technology Carousel any more successful than the previous spins.
History will just slowly, and expensively, repeat itself until the organization stops spinning its wheels and stops believing a “better” wheel (different technology) will make enterprise initiatives run smoothly.
Is your organization spinning around in circles on the Technology Carousel?