My rants, sorry views on Enterprise Processes are far from hidden from those around me. “You need a what?”, “a week??”, “What do you mean: “it’s the wrong colour?”. They may appear flippant comments to emphasise my forthcoming point, but they are very much exclamations of mine as I have tried to run processes in the Enterprise.
“Enterprise Overhead” was the phrase that I was presented with some weeks ago to explain this very running of process.. This was the phrase used to describe the line item that was to be placed in my planning to which I was to attribute the lapse (I originally had written ‘loss’) of time due to running process. The appropriate phrasing would be “a loss in Earned Value”; I guess.
In summary: it’s time lost to the inefficiencies in running the everyday process of project delivery. This can be anything from resource requests, travel approvals, having a phone number or desk allocated or having items provisioned in the data centre.
The shocking thing is: there’s rarely any will or endeavour to make these processes any smoother or dare I say easier which can only boil down to: “we’d rather have the process than the money!”
Education on how – and likely an option to see how EFFICIENCIES could be brought about – is at our finger tips: it’s called the public internet.
Any company that wants to sell over the public internet puts more thought and preparation into the process or work flow simply because if the process is to long/painful/drawn out, customers won’t buy. I know this, because I do it.
I have referred to this in a post that I published with v6: there is really quite little that needs to be done in process automation yet to we seem hell-bent on both keeping the lethargic processes and building new ones.
We are all familiar with the phrase: don’t work harder, work smarter. Why can’t the Enterprise adopt this? We have the technology with Web 2.0 to do online form valuation (but we build them into spreadsheets!), to direct end users and to educate as we go (with content that can be added to and changed instantly [knowledgebase etc]). That’s assuming you need to do development; there a web apps for everything, and if there’s not: create a “Systems and Tools” function to automate the boring, frustrating, slow and expensive stuff. The costs are way less then project delays as projects have headcount that just multiply the cost of delay by the relative man-day rate.
Seriously, the Enterprise has made the simple stuff hard, and the hard stuff easy; asking for a million quid is easier than provisioning storage! I remain slightly unconvinced by my latter statement the, but therein is the challenge that keeps me in the roles I am in.