5 Key Management Information Systems
Most every business of any complexity has multiple management information systems. The holy grail is to have a single, integrated information system. Many a software implementation project or business re-engineering project has gone a ground in the attempt.
Better, cheaper and faster is to adjust your approach in two ways.
- Think of your management information system as a hierarchy of processes and systems.
- Think of the various software products and services you need to support this hierarchy, integrated to best serve your company’s specific needs.
Before we can talk about what an information management system is, let’s talk about information management.
Effective, efficient information management requires a system. A system does not require software.
One common mistake is to jump straight to software implementation. This is generally a waste of time and money.
So, why do people continue to repeat the mistake?
- For some, they are rookies and they have the mistaken belief that they are outwitting the software folks, saving time and money.
- For others, they have been through the process before and having selected some software solution, mistakenly believe that the same solution will work just as well. Typically, you can see these folks lean back and say, “At XYZ Co we used [fill-in-the-blank] and it was great. I see no reason why it will not work great here too.” And, true to their word, they really have no idea of why the software might not be the best solution in the here and now.
- For most, there is an unstated belief that the software comes gift-wrapped, so to speak, with fully tailored business processes, right-out-of-the-box or with-just-a-few-clicks or whatever the software sales team is pitching that season.
- Lurking beneath the surface, too, are the unspoken business and personnel issues no one is ready to talk about just yet. So, there is this hope that new software will somehow fix whatever dysfunction is lurking. (Spoiler alert: it will not!)
In essence, there is a belief that the software will create and enforce the discipline required to achieve those benefits.
Software though is neither magic nor your mother.
As the saying goes: garbage in, garbage out. Without defined processes—software without systems, you get garbage. Expensive, time wasting garbage.
To implement software effectively and efficiently, you want to have your business rules and processes defined ahead or time.
The best software is configurable. The job of the software implementation team is to translate your business rules and processes into an optimum software configuration.
In the best of cases, that takes time and costs money.
If you wait until the software implementation project to define these processes, you will probably spend more money, take longer to complete. Fun fact: the likelihood of a successful implementation, delivered on-time and in-budget, decreases with the length of the project.
Why? Because these conversations take time and cost money.
Ideally, the software selection team would use your business rules and processes as a guide for short-listing alternatives and making the final selection.
As above, if you wait until the software selection process to define these rules and processes, you will actually spend more money and your selection project will take longer.
As a bonus, we have found that defining these processes before selecting software gives you the opportunity to fix these processes without buying any new software.
You just might find that you do not really need new software. You just need to define new processes. Do so and you will see any gaps between your process and the limitations of your current software.
In short, your best opportunity for saving time and money is to define your business rules and processes before buying anything. Do so and you will streamline –if not outright avoid–your software projects, reducing management time & energy as well as cash outlays.
Okay, so Process Definition costs money too..
How do you define your business rules and processes yourself or with outside assistance without wasting a lot of time and money?
You can find an overwhelming variety of methodologies and toolsets for BPR. Most of it is overkill. And almost all of it is unnecessary.
Okay, so where do you start?
If you are stuck for a starting point, focus on your cash conversion cycle and define any rule or process that impacts this cycle.
We have a simple, 80/20 Power Grid™ template for doing this.
Would like a copy?
5 Must Have Software Categories
According to one software review site Capterra, there are over 700 different software categories. Most businesses need just a few types of software.
The 5 key software categories are:
- Business Intelligence (BI)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Project Management (PM)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Core Accounting
We can help you select and implement any and all of these.
Management Information Systems (MIS)
If you want to put the right tools in place without spending too much or worse, taking your company into the red, then you want someone that has led software selection and implementation projects for over 25 years.
What do you want to do?
- Simplify processes that are otherwise not attainable
- Eliminate manual steps
- Speed your cash conversion cycle
- Generate operational and financial data required for more sophisticated forms of profitability analysis
Any company that wants to minimize or reduce the cost of software and support systems, or attain the results obtainable only through software based processes, can use help.