Our Technical Services are designed to help our clients identify the range of functions that their computer systems need to provide. As explained under The Right System it is essential that the capabilities built into these systems be aligned with business goals. The critical component here is the ability of the software to provide active support for the work that the business and its employees perform. The only yardstick that matters is effectiveness.
Here is one way that effective software might be described: "Our new order entry system works seamlessly with our customer support system. Each group in the customer service organization can really respond effectively to our customers, both pre-sale and post-sale. It's good for customer relations and helps us with one of our major performance objectives".
But what about software that is described like this: "We just acquired another company and now we can't see credit information about their customers"?
Or this: "This new software doesn't capture the quality control measurements that by contract we are required to provide to our customers when we ship product. Yes, we can record the information manually but that's work that we shouldn't have to do, especially with fewer people in the organization, and we worry about mistakes and inconsistencies".
Characteristics of Effective Software
Effective software - highlighted in the first example above - has two principal characteristics that the software in the other two examples does not:
reinforces and supports routine work while enabling the business to achieve its broader goals
captures and provides the information that the business process requires.
And goes one step further: it adds value by enabling the business to perform better.
How to Measure Effectiveness
Effectiveness is not necessarily measured solely by confirming that the software delivers exactly what was stipulated. strict adherence to the specifications. These measures are equally significant: * user satisfaction * timely availability to the business * delivery within budget
Viewed from this perspective it becomes clear that effective functionality can be made available in a timely way and will deliver user satisfaction and value to the business when the initial phases of the software project are approached using effective methods. SeeMethods and Techniques for further details of the methods we use.
Kilcreggan Systems & Software, Inc. P.O. Box 273 Shelburne Falls, MA 01370 (617) 694-8125 firstname.lastname@example.org