The Office Of Broken Processes

, , , | Working | March 10, 2020

(I am invited to join a conference call with our division manager, in middle management. I don’t know at the time, but they are a real firebrand when roused. Information is given to us, discussion is held, and then they ask if anyone has any questions. I smile inwardly.)

Me: “Yes. I would like to ask about our ‘broken processes.'”

(The manager, assuming I’m talking about the online systems we have been having ongoing problems with, starts talking about initiatives in place to remedy them.)

Me: *stopping them* “No. I don’t mean our computer systems; I mean our interdepartmental processes.”

Middle Manager: “What do you mean?”

Me: “For example. A customer is going to leave us, but we get them to stay with a good offer. Before we can put the order in place to give them that offer, the order to leave must be cancelled in the computer. I have been told that, for the department who does that, nineteen days is considered fast.”

(I go on to name department after department where we have problems like that and conclude with this statement:)

Me: “We cannot do our jobs because the other departments are not supporting us. The processes are broken.”

(Manager raises and bonuses are dependent on the performance of their departments. I had just told them of a serious threat to their income. I found out later that our division manager went on the warpath. The department where a task being done in nineteen days was fast? It went to 48 hours being slow.)

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