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  • Writer's pictureJack Arnston

Beware of the Orange Barrels

The calendar flipped to April this past Saturday and here in Wisconsin that means it is officially road construction season. That time of the year that we all hate and curse, until the work is complete and what is left is an improved road, less congestion and years of happy motoring. This reminds me of what it is sometimes like to deploy a document management system. The initial system design can be tedious and time consuming. The deployment may take longer than you like. The transition period can be awkward and even painful at times. And then, when it is all over, you ask yourself why you did not do this sooner.

I have seen this over and over again. Change is hard for nearly everyone. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is not always obvious. You wish it was just plug and play, and you become anxious when things seem to drag on, or you are thrown a curve ball and have to adjust. So why does it sometimes seem so hard?

Well, let’s take a step back to understand what is going on. First of all, we are affecting change to the way that you currently work. This typically means that we are redesigning your processes. Doing that requires a tremendous amount of thought and some forward thinking. Next, we are usually integrating with other software and possibly hardware as well. Making two or more pieces of software communicate to each other can be tricky at times. Then there are the nuances of how your organization does things. Everyone is different and unique, making your solution customized to meet your needs. All of these things, when put together, can create a complex solution that requires tweaking and fine tuning before it works perfectly. So why go through all of the hassles when you can get by with how you currently do things?

Probably because the way you currently do things is fraught with inefficiencies. Maybe it’s because if you don’t change you will not continue to move forward. Possibly it’s because deep down you know things can get better, and a little pain now is well worth the gain of what you will experience. This I do know, and I have seen it over and over. After making the change, and adopting the new system, you will say there is no way you would ever go back to using paper and living with your old processes. When the changes you make become mission critical to your business, and you cannot do your job without the technology, you know it is all worth it. The pain and struggle seem much less important and really not all that bad. The final outcome is so worth the investment you put into it.

It is kind of like the orange barrels that warn you of the construction on the roads. A real pain when you have to drive (or crawl) through it, but so worth the final outcome. As the years roll on and you continue to enjoy the benefits that the new and improved road the frustration you once felt fades from memory and all worth it.

Jack Arnston is a Principal at The Priton Group. He can be reached at

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