People react funny when confronted with the new system that will create efficiencies for their operations. Despite years of managing human interactions, people implementing systems suddenly forget about all the times they talk to people every day.  The new system automates e-mails; it creates structure.  What it does not do is replace the people element.  Systems give you back the time to build relationships.  It is important to remember the difference between what the system can do for you and what you need to do for you.

The system gives you a way to track data, related and unrelated data.  It will collect information into tables that can be handily queried into meaningful reports, often connecting things you never considered related in the past.  This data collection and reporting is critical.  It’s something you never knew you missed until you have it available.  Suddenly, you can quantify factors and make decisions that you may have made using gut instinct in the past.  Systems are good for that.  Always consider what you want your data to tell you as you design and implement your system.

Systems do not create nor maintain relationships with other people.  Sure, systems can send out handy e-mail reminders, but reminders aren’t the sole basis of your relationships with others.  Systems cannot consider special case scenarios that require out of the ordinary handling.  Systems cannot talk to individuals about their needs, likes, or dislikes.  They cannot hear an individual’s tone of voice.  These subtle nuances require human interaction and likely will continue to require it into the future.

During an implementation project, it is key for leaders to not toss people relationships into the system.  This action dooms your system satisfaction in the long run because the system will never give you what you want.  Instead, know your processes and carefully consider how the system can improve them.  Bend where you need to bend.  Better yet, truly understand where your process relies on human interaction and where it does not.  Often, what we think requires a human touch does not.  Consider your processes with a critical eye to make the best decision hat guarantees future satisfaction.