“Spaghetti Technology’:

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“Spaghetti Technology’:

 Description of this PIE 2016 Seminar:
 
What new technological change has been the best for your program, the worst for your program, and the ugliest overall for everyone concerned? Hear the results of a non-scientific (but really cool and interesting) survey of municipal and institutional parking managers as they describe their best and worst experiences with new technology implementation. Their “lessons learned” could save you grief in the future.
By Barbara J. Chance and Joseph Sciulli
In October 2015, we wrote an article for Parking Today that addressed “what to do if you have the latest technology, and what to do if you don’t.” The parking professionals we interviewed for that article clearly saw both positive and negative effects of the technology revolution we are all experiencing in parking and related fields. 
Peter Lange, from Texas A&M, expressed it in this way: “We seem to be seeing a collection of apps that solve specific problems but lack integration to solve bigger problems.” 
Tom Wunk from T2 Systems added: “While the parking systems today provide more capabilities than ever, the investment in staffing, salaries and training is not commensurate with the prowess needed to manage sophisticated computer management systems that happen to open up gates now and then.” 
And Gary Means, from the Lexington & Fayette Co. KY, Parking Authority, summed it up this way: “Even with all the new technologies and payment options, many times the customer’s parking experience is still unsatisfactory. We in the industry have to keep improving the customer’s experience!”
For the 2016 Parking Industry Exhibition (PIE) in Las Vegas, we are following on that article by surveying a wider range of parking professionals about implementation of new technology. As with the “spaghetti western” movie, technology implementation may be a mixed plot of good, bad and truly ugly. Our survey taps all of these conditions, and the results will be revealed March 2 at a 9 a.m. PIE presentation.
While most of us welcome the announcement “New Technology Coming!” with some excitement, or at least curiosity as to what the latest flashy new thing is, and (more important) if and how it can improve our lives, in the workplace, those words may bring on some other feelings. 
In the world of parking,
which has experienced dramatic and unprecedented technologically based changes in the last decade, a variety of feelings may apply, including: 
Anxiety – What effect will this technology have on my operations, employees and bottom line?
Fear – What if the implementation of this new technology does not go smoothly, or my customers hate it?
Alarm – Am I ready for the new technology and everything that comes with it? How much new stuff will I have to learn? 
Not all reactions are negative, obviously. There are hopeful expectations about operating efficiencies and customer service improvements, and the potential for increased revenues and cost reductions. 
 
What has your technology implementation experience been? PIE 2016 will provide you the opportunity to share with colleagues how your efforts with technology implementation have gone. 
We invite you to go to www.chancemanagement.com and click on the “PIE Spaghetti Technology” link to take a brief survey to share with your colleagues your experiences with technology implementation: 
 
What worked really well – so well that you would recommend it to anyone implementing what you did?
Were there activities that didn’t work so well – do you have some “lessons learned” that would be valuable for your fellow parking pals to know early?
And were there some ugly occurrences – unanticipated failures, cost overruns, misunderstandings about what equipment could (and could not) do, insufficient preparation, bad advice, inadequate training, or a mismatch of schedule and requirements?
Two lucky random respondents will win $100 American Express gift cards to be given out at the PIE 2016 session or mailed to you if you aren’t attending the show (the Good!). If you don’t take the survey, you can’t win the gift card (the Bad!). And if you don’t come to PIE 2016, you’ll miss the results (really Ugly!).
Thanks for participating, and good luck!
Barbara J. Chance is President and CEO of CHANCE Management Advisors. Joseph Sciulli, CAPP, is the firm’s Vice President and Senior Operations Consultant. Contact them through the www.chancemanagement.com website.
Article contributed by the Parking PT team.
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