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Technology - putting the information back in. - Ed's journal
Technology - putting the information back in.
So one of the ideas I was bouncing around with a colleague, is how much institutional inefficiency there is in a lot of companies - here in the UK, it's rife, as we look to measure 'face time' and 'time spent at the grindstone' and end up ignoring effective productive output, simply because it's difficult to measure.

So if I were to suggest that I go into a company, and join one of their teams in figuring out how their stuff works - and then propose a selection of ideas that will improve efficiency, and for bonus points take away some of the boring grind that their staff end up doing, improving morale.

I'm trying to figure out if that makes a viable business proposition - if you do it on a 'no win, no fee' basis.

I'd be pretty confident that in most companies I go to, there's a lot of easy wins - things like picking on all the spreadsheet jockeys, and automate a lot of it.
Things like scripting of daily/manual tasks, or otherwise optimizing there.

And perhaps the larger scale of 'IT project to implement...'.

Reckon it'd work?
6 comments or Leave a comment
chess From: chess Date: April 23rd, 2010 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't people regularly pay other people large sums of money to do this, generally calling them 'Management Consultants'?
jorune From: jorune Date: April 23rd, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
In my experience, consultants rarely end up doing this. It's usually one of the following:
a) support the executives in hiring, firing, splitting up the business. Executives get to play caring employer to the nasty consultants when in fact they are doing the firing.
b) act as troubleshooters and extra pair of project/programme managers in order to get unwieldy projects done. C&G Mortgage Regulation programme 2004-2005.
c) parachuted in by an external nebulous power to see what if anything can be changed. Most govt work.
From: linamishima Date: April 23rd, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sobrique's suggestion is in theory what consultants should be about. In practice, it's more as you say, or like what happened in Dubai.

purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: April 23rd, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was Peter's job for Virgin Media for 2 years. Technically he comes under Information Management (or Management Information, depending on the emphasis) and his job included producing reports as well and providing ways to measure productivity. It's the main thing he enjoyed about it. He changed a lot of stuff, and as you say, automated things to take the grind out of the job and take the pressure off.
From: linamishima Date: April 23rd, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
In a small way, that sort of thing is were I'm heading at the moment. Sadly I don't have access to build the sort of automation that would really make a difference were I work...
From: linamishima Date: April 23rd, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've thought about something similar, and already have a few leads on service delivery consulting work that I need to follow up.

The problem with this is that all the value is in the long term. Short term, one of the things a consultant like you suggest would do is spend money and ensure that proper tools were being used that were fit for purpose. The real difficulty is being able to show to your clients immediate return on investment, and convince them to play for the long term.

The other way in is via "incident management" - specialising in rescuing companies from dire situations via these techniques.

I suspect it is sadly a bit of a chicken-and-egg senario - for the business to work, you would need a really strong reputation for implementing amazing solutions. Otherwise it would be hard to sell the idea of the initial outlay.

Of course, what would be even better is an extreme form of this. When I'm rich, I intend to form a crack team of engineers, flying around the world to rapidly use SCIENCE! to solve major problems.
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