Saturday, 16 January 2016

A Clever New System For Any High-Tech Modern Office...

An illustration of why some top bosses should listen to their junior staff.


This article gives credit to a brilliant system found in some offices...
I hope this week I don't sound like a technophobic old fogey going on about how great things were in the olden days, because I'm a big fan of modern technology and I totally appreciate the benefits that computers and electronic stuff bring to the world.  However, a recent incident at work highlighted that sometimes it's possible to make the mistake of 'technologising' things just for the sake of it.

To set the scene, at the company where I work we have a computerised 'work allocation system' whereby whenever you take a phone call, you take the details and then log into the system to allocate the task to the person who does that particular job.

One day I had a phone call from someone who wanted some forms sent out, so what I would normally do was log into the system, go through a couple of menus, try to decide which department the task would come under, write up a message and instructions of which forms needed to be sent out, then log back out of that menu, and then finally go back into a different menu so that I could allocate the job to the person who's responsibility it was to send out the relevant forms.

In this case it was a task that the office junior does and he sits opposite me, so after I hung up I mentioned to him that I was going to allocate him a job.  However, that day he was having problems with his system and he therefore couldn't get into his job queue, so he was unable to open the task I was about to allocate him.


This prompted an office discussion of how we could potentially solve the problem of his system being down and various alternative suggestions were contemplated such as logging in from other computers, giving IT a call to look into the issue, or postponing the task, etc.  However, in the midst of these discussions the office junior came up with an old-fashioned but clever and ingenious solution of his own...

"You could just write it down on a piece of paper."

This prompted a few moments of silence in the office as our brains ticked over and we slowly contemplated his radical suggestion.  Until finally it dawned on us all...

"Hmm ... write it down, you say?  On a piece of paper?  Hmm, yes ... that might just work."

At this point I couldn't help letting out a gormless chuckle at how completely ridiculous the whole system was.  The company have spent thousands of pounds on a cutting edge top of the range computer system for allocating work, when a far simpler and much quicker system already exists.  And what's more, this alternative system costs only a fraction of the price of this new 'technologised' expensive top of the range system.

"Just write it down on a piece of paper!"

So that was what I did!  In fact as it turned out I had already written the task down on a piece of paper when I took the call, so all I did was hand the piece of paper across to the office junior and the whole process took me approximately five seconds!

A tricky decision for a boss to make.
Whereas if I had used the work allocation system I would have had to log into the system, go through a couple of menus, try to decide which department the task comes under (before eventually just sticking it under 'general'), ask around to find out which option to click, try another option when the first option doesn't work, eventually find the right option and finally get into the correct screen, then write up a message and instructions of which duplicate forms need to be sent out, then log back out of that menu, and then finally log back into a different menu so that I could allocate the job to the person whose responsibility it was to send out the duplicate forms.  Simple!

In all seriousness, if I had used the work allocation system then the whole laborious process would definitely have taken a lot more than five seconds!

Anyway, the office junior's clever and time-saving suggestion brought a chuckle to my face and highlighted just how completely ridiculously clueless some of the 'higher level' bosses at some companies are.  Over the years I've been lucky enough to work for a lot of excellent 'middle level' bosses, but once you get higher up the chain I have to say that unfortunately in some cases common sense seems to go out of the window.

So if any 'higher level' bosses happen to reading this article and you're currently considering purchasing an expensive new computer system for your department, before you go ahead and sign on the dotted line, my advice would be ask the office junior if he or she has got any alternative suggestions, and you might just find that they come up with an ingenious idea which could potentially save the company thousands of pounds.

Such as 'just write it on a piece of paper'!


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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.