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Election / Selection Quandary - How to Choose?

Mar 28, 2008
Choices you make could be a matter of life and death. Or they could be a matter of joy or despair. Sometimes we're not happy with any of our alternatives. But champions know how to take lemons and make lemonade.

There's lots of excitement and enthusiasm about the 2008 US presidential campaign. Reporter, journalists and political scientist are loving it. I've received numerous emails with different angles and perspective on the candidates and issues. I'm pleased that the diversity of choices has prompted the American people to examine their values and give thought to what's best for our country. People who have been apathetic about politics are now showing up at the polls in record numbers. But, do most people vote on issues? Or, are decisions based on emotional appeal?

The internet has had a phenomenal effect on the election process. There is data available on any and every subject. The newer technologies enables the various modes of media to deliver more in depth coverage and up to the minute results. We don't lack the data to make intelligent decisions. The challenge comes in trying to process and make sense of it all.

I see an analogy here for selecting software and vendors. There's lots of interesting choices in the 2008 election - a black African American, a woman, a Mormon, a preacher. But in the United States' democratic system of government, the impact of electing a Republican versus a Democrat is relatively small. We have our checks and balances. But the wrong software selection could be costly: #1 in terms of your organization wasting money and #2 in terms of your personal well being. Often technology projects gone bad results in job loss or demotion. Not to mention the cost of non-compliance with SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) or other regulations which your system or technology was supposed to address. You could go to jail!

So how to make intelligent decisions in the realm of vendor / software / technology / system selection. The above mentioned candidate selection questionnaires are based on the premise that the most important issues have been addressed. And the two quizzes differ in that respect. Similarly, before any evaluation process it's important to clarify what you're trying to accomplish and what's important.

We suggest a five step process:
1. Clarify goals and strategic direction
2. Understand and document requirements
3. Prioritize and rank requirements, and develop a scoring strategy
4. Map vendor/software/technology capabilities to requirements.
5. Evaluate and select.
About the Author
Sandra Noble,CEO, Noble & Associates Consulting offers IT strategy, software selection, & ERP implementation.
For a *FREE* report, "8 Tips for Selecting Software", click www.SoftwareSelectionHelp.com Noble Finances, provides A/R financing, equipment & software leasing, cash advances on credit card sales and pre-settlement lawsuit funding and law firm portfolio loans. Visit www.GetCashFromReceivables.com
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