Fewer Humans With Better Information

30 November 2016

Tell me how many large scale programs, business initiatives and change efforts are dominated by many humans, making many spreadsheets, PowerPoint, SharePoint lists and documents ? My guess would be somewhere in the 80-100% range!

Why is that ? Complexity ? Volume of data ? Uncertainty of requirements ?

The truth is that businesses have been using these types of products since the dawn of time, and as I have written before, businesses really can get themselves into a proper mess with their data running on the “spaghetti” of Excel and SharePoint. There is no need to have volumes of spreadsheets, SharePoints, and PowerPoints that require significant effort with no real value-add. Don’t get me wrong, each of these tools individually ARE very useful: Excel provides great flexibility, creativity, and prototyping capabilities; SharePoint provides good document storage and access controls; PowerPoint can make nice executive decks (when done with a good eye for design!). But these are NOT good for data management on any program with any type of size or complexity.

Furthermore, businesses have used armies of people (employees, consultants, and contractors) to run these programs because it seemingly takes that much firepower to manage the complexities and scale of these efforts. I truly believe that there is a need for advisors, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), program directors and many other expert roles in a business. But you DO NOT need the volume nor the cost of people normally employed or deployed onto these programs.

Personally, I have seen multi-million dollar programs waste tens of millions of dollars on this type of activity, resulting in a lack of a systematic approach to planning nor did they have a well-formed and in-formed program that has good insights and proper controls via data and analytics. Sometimes brute force by deploying lots of people can get the job done, but is it efficient as it could be ?

A contemporary data-driven business that has good controls and governance over it’s operations and change programs will be smarter with how they use data to manage their data-driven business.

My thesis is that companies can strip out MILLIONS of dollars of cost around managing their Business-As-Usual (BAU) and Change programs, while implementing a good data and analytics driven approach. This would yield better insights and a more “joined up” view of what they are doing. Just use the data you already have in a smarter way !

The ROI:

  • Save millions by using fewer humans
  • Get better operational insights
  • Operate with appropriate governance and controls
  • Employ a data-driven approach to business strategy and decision making
  • Have smarter teams working in a smarter way

What do you think ?

Ross Hamilton is Chief Operating Officer at IDE-International, a product and services company that is transforming the world of change through data and analytics. For more information on IDE-International and its flagship product, PRIMED, please send an email to, or Contact Us.