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Simple software solutions are the most effective

Leonardo Da Vinci is widely quoted as having said: “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”. His 500-year old sentiment has been repeated many times throughout history and business.

Who can forget the modern version, KISS (keep it simple, stupid), first associated, allegedly, with military aircraft engineering in the 1960s. The point was, if it couldn’t be fixed by someone in the field with a simple set of mechanics tools, it wasn’t good – or sophisticated – enough.

Ironically, when it comes to organisational management software, many people seem to think that more features, more options, and more widgets make something better and more sophisticated.

Too often though, sophisticated actually means more complicated. One dictionary even defines sophisticated as: “made in a complicated way and therefore able to do complicated tasks”.

Management tools designed to make organisations more effective have become complicated in this way. They are data heavy, time consuming to use, and require extensive training and support.

Is this really more effective? Most organisations and individuals are time poor. Shouldn’t tools help to make their jobs easier and quicker, rather than giving them yet another task to do, or another set of data to make sense of?

Increasing profit in business, improving results in schools, ensuring high-quality healthcare for future generations – these are full of complex challenges, but doesn’t mean the solutions – or the tools used to find those solutions – need to be complex.

The best solutions are often deceptively obvious and straightforward. Often times they are about focusing on the basics; identifying those things that work and doing them really well; learning from good practice in one area and spreading it across the organisation; empowering people to get on and do their jobs effectively.

The most useful tools, online or offline, helps to make these solutions simpler and easier, rather than creating complicated new processes.

This has been our philosophy with iAbacus. Co-founder John Pearce developed the Abacus model in the early 2000s using it, initially, as a paper based process for supporting organisational improvement in schools.

Sliding beads left to right on a physical abacus to visually represent progress proved to be a powerful and popular addition and gave the model its name.

In 2011, John began a collaboration with Daniel O’Brien of TDK Business Technologies Ltd, an established software company, to create the iAbacus online strategic planning tool. Daniel’s business background allowed iAbacus to be adapted for a range of industries, but based on the same brilliantly simple concept.

The thinking, theory and research behind the original iAbacus Improvement Model had not changed, and each step in the original model has been faithfully retained, with only minor changes of wording to ease navigation.

Although tempted by sophisticated possibilities in the software version, we have resisted complexity in a firm belief that the power is in the simplicity of the model.

If you are interested in seeing how iAbacus can help your organisation to be more effective, why not start your 30 day free trial today.

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