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Commissioning Technology

Commissioning Technology – Be Careful What You Ask For!

Tips When defining Commissioning Technology Needs

Published on October 18, 2021
Brett Petersen, Co-Founder of ZEN Enterprise

Following on from the last article on Establishing The Case For Change, once an organisation recognises there is a way and a place for digitally transforming the service commissioning process, the next step is to define and articulate requirements to support a business case for an improvement activity, as well as developing a sourcing approach.

When Homer Simpson was asked to design a car (from 3 minutes onwards) that would meet his needs he developed a monstrosity that cost way too much and could never be sold. When defining requirements there needs to be a clear context of what would be considered ‘reasonable’, provide value for money and deliver the optimal return on investment.

This type of exercise can’t be performed in isolation either, whether business or IT driven. Forming committees and stakeholder groups with the best intentions still risks getting bogged down in bureaucracy, scope creep and red tape. It then just seems too hard to push forward, or other more pressing priorities take precedence.

The commissioning process, at least for PHN’s, and other areas of the health sector (such as State, local and hospital health services) is broadly defined, and while organisations interpret the commissioning lifecycle in their own way, the principles remain the same.

It is important to recognise that the technology involved in commissioning shouldn’t just be a cobbled together bunch of applications to perform isolated functions. Commissioning technology needs to take a commissioning business process approach with integration a core principle for design. While in most cases it is, it doesn’t need to be a bunch of systems used independently in very subjective and disparate ways. As an example, this includes systems that assist with procurement and contract management. These systems can provide tremendous assistance in automating processes, reducing risk and making life easier in the areas they are designed for. The same can be said for finance and CRM systems, delivering important functionality to support tasks associated with the commissioning process. The good news is that there is technology that specifically supports the commissioning process, while recognising existing technology solutions in the organisational ecosystem with capabilities of procurement, contracts, finance and CRM. To understand what is out there is part of the discovery process, which can also be aided by conducting market approaches.

As illustrated in the following commissioning lifecycle view, the system functionality of a commissioning system needs to follow the commissioning process steps from planning through to procurement, delivery and evaluation. The aim being to provide a structured way of commissioning, capturing key information in one place and automating reporting and providing alerts and notifications at key stages in the process.

In the next article we will start to step through the specific requirements for a technology investment.

If this article resonates with you or you want more information, please reach out.

Brett Petersen is co-CEO of ZEN Enterprise, providing software solutions and consulting services, and can be contacted at

ZEN Enterprise is proud to be an innovative software and solution provider delivering proven tangible benefits, including reduced cost and risk and increased ROI. ZEN Enterprise have a growing number of Australian Government, Not-For-Profit and Health sector clients.

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