a colleague asked me to help him find an example of an after action report (that final step in a project or project phase that everyone seems to ignore). i spent over 2 minutes looking for an example on our enterprise search engine. i performed a general search, and even a detailed search to look for only word documents followed by only pdf documents.

i got nothing.

after that failed, i sent a question out on our yammer network to my colleagues and friends asking the same question. roughly 2 minutes and 30 seconds later i had a colleague of mine forward along an example document with exactly everything i was looking for. this was a colleague whom i’d have never even known existed if it weren’t for social networking within the enterprise.

but here’s the kicker…

the enterprise system we’ve developed has cost the firm countless thousands of dollars (probably millions), meanwhile the yammer network we’re using is the free version—no cost at all to us. using this high-cost technology outfit provided me with no answers at all and was actually a time-suck when you look at it, meanwhile a free system available to anyone was able to connect the person who needed information with the person who had the information.

the moral of the story is this: business needs to rethink where it’s spending its money. high cost IT departments in organizations don’t have to be high cost anymore. there was once a time when machines could do things that we mere mortals couldn’t, and so we developed these new systems to supplant humans. the problem is that that paradigm has shifted.

the focus needs to not be on what the technology is capable of, but on what the technology enables us to do.

at the end of the day this change in focus is better, faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

not easier, but better.