Clinton Jones of South Africa cited this formula on the CUSSNET group for introducing or changing technology during a discussion on "Planned Change vs. Rapid Development"

an example:

Person A produces a host of schedules using a spreadsheet program, these come about principally because the Financial Director requires Management Reports in a specific format. The Accounting system produces this information, but it's an off the shelf package that has relatively inflexible report writing and in addition it would be expensive to modify the program or replace it.

What can we say about this scene:

What is the Formal Defined Process:
The financial reports must be produced for management meetings

What is the Formal Undefined Process:
The financial reports must be produced the way the Director wants them

What is the Informal Defined Process
The financial reports must be reworked from what the accounting system produces to the format as required by the director, this may involve straight transcription, the use of complex formulae etc

What is the Informal Undefined Process
The financial reports must be reworked in such a way that no-one except the operator and perhaps the director, know that the financials are being produced only as a result of a second rework.

Is this a value Adding task ? No !

Skip automation of value adding tasks

Is this Non Value Adding - Absolutely

Can it be automated - possibly but probably only if one can export the reports from their native format, or if one scan or cut and paste Should it be automated - It would make the operator more efficient and non value adding tasks should have as little human resources thrown at them as possible.

The Political and Social Agendae
Politically, the operator doesn't want to rock the boat, antagonism can breed contempt and could result in termination of services The director may also be responsible for IT and certainly doesn't want anyone to know what an inefficient job is being done in the IT/Accounts department. The operations directors aren't really interested in how the documents are arrived at, but they do want them to be understandable, correct, timeous and produced at as low a cost as possible. The operations directors on the other hand, may have an axe to grind with the finance director in which case this revelation may give them ammunition. The reports may not actually be as important as everyone would have us believe.

The Social Agendae, may be that the operator is a bit of a charity case that is relatively unemployable, spends 80% of the time producing 20% of the work. The financial director has a 'thing' with the operator or the operator's supervisor. The operator may feel that his/her work is very VERY important, He/She may only have a year or two before retirement. The Director may only have a year or two before retirement.

Now examining the case, it is not uncommon in many organisations for scenes like this to exist. from an IT perspective the answers appear straight forward but when one examines the other dynamics, you need to have some HR skills, some diplomacy skills etc etc This is where the consultant supposedly comes in, it's a fine line between being tactful about proposals and changes and being so blunt that the after effects are 'victims' of restructuring.....

Comments anyone ?


Clinton Jones
South Africa

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