The VAR moment
A few weeks ago a VAR weekend in the Premier league. Newcastle United and West Ham United lost points due to incorrect decisions facilitated by technology (VAR).
A lot of people were annoyed.
‘Experts’ started calling for the outright removal of VAR from football.
Talksport was buzzing with VAR outrage all weekend.
The Lion of Gosforth (Alan Shearer) was raging to millions on Match of the Day.
Wor Alan was bang on. Yes, terrible decisions were made, but this was not the fault of the technology.
It was the fault of those ‘working’ the technology, showing people the wrong angles, or not following the right process.
Perhaps surprisingly (for football), it’s now been officially accepted that the decisions made were wrong. I expect the normal football style root and branch review of processes and procedures to follow.
Now what does that mean for your business?
A lot of businesses aren’t particularly efficiently run. It’s often the case that systems that should be reducing time and effort are actually adding more complexity time and effort than the way things were ‘previously done’.
If this sounds familiar, this is your VAR moment.
Luckily for you dear reader, I’ll act as your guide in the VAR booth. To fix the issue, you’ve got three questions to address to help you find the right decision and move forward.
- Is the technology wrong?
- Is your process wrong?
- Is the user unable to manage the process properly?
Let’s do a root and branch review of these questions. Consider this a checklist for you to review when you need to make a technology decision to move your business forward.
Question 1. Are you really using the right technology?
In my experience a lot of blame is pointed at systems that don’t work, rather than addressing what that technology should be helping people to achieve in the first place.
If you find that your staff are working outside or around the technology you’ve invested in, the chances are you’ve made the wrong technology decision.
People want to do the right thing. If the technology doesn’t help them to make progress, then they’ll find a way around the technology to make things work.
Often technology is bought based on the experience of others rather than understanding of your own needs. For example, buying the best CRM for [insert your sector here].
Since our platform connects with these systems I see this all the time.
The reality is this. This is often branding over substance, and one people often pay a premium for. Yes you might get a small benefit on the way product names are handled or a specific process, but it’s a minor benefit if you don’t understand the details of how things need to work.
You are buying a CRM. The sector is irrelevant. Your CRM needs to be set up based around your needs as a business, and how you do things.
Getting this wrong is a very expensive mistake, so you need to do your own VAR check.
Before you make any technology decisions make sure you fully understand what you need. The data structure, the integrations, and the processes.
Do your own discovery, take a look at your business. Look at how you can use technology to add value to your business rather than confuse things for the people that will be using your new system.
And yes…you might find that the sector leading CRM is exactly what you need.
Question 2: Is your process wrong?
The introduction of technology into your business might mean that you need to change the way that you work. Without this change, the benefit you expect from the technology might never be achieved.
For example, people might need to do something ‘extra’ to make sure the next step in the process works? That might mean ‘extra’ work and a change. If that change isn’t properly managed through your team, then it’s very likely that your team might begin to work around your new technology.
Alternatively, your process might be wrong in the first place. If that’s the case, all technology will do is support the wrong way of working and make it even more difficult to change.
Now back to VAR for a second. In the Premier League, someone that is a referee on a Saturday, is then in charge of VAR on a Sunday.
On the face of things, it looks like a decent call, after all VAR acts as a ‘second referee’, a backup to help the main referee out.
But perhaps being in charge of VAR is an entirely different thing to being a referee. In France, that is the route they have taken. VAR referees are in charge of VAR, and referees are in charge of the match.
Question 3: Is the user unable to manage the process properly?
Throwing new technology into a business needs to be carefully managed. As mentioned earlier, technology often means that people need to change the way they work, and change can be a very difficult task to manage – especially if those involved in the change haven’t been included earlier in the technology implementation process.
It’s pretty rare to find a business owner or director that is entirely happy with the way their business is working or the technology they have decided to adopt into their business.
That’s not a bad thing, business success is determined by the decisions made by the custodians of that business.
These are your VAR moments. Just remember to look at the bigger picture and check all the angles before you make your final decision.
Given the nature of our business – marketing automation – we deal with a lot of system integration, but we are independent when it comes to CRM and other technologies. So if you need some help with improving your business efficiency or making the right decisions before spending a fortune on new technology, click here to schedule a chat…
We’ll be waiting in our VAR booth.
Better Email Saul. 🙂