Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pin the tail on the donkey

Many of us working with large corporations have IT departments that are centralized somewhere far removed from where we work. Getting a computer problem fixed can be an exercise in frustration. Emails that take hours to be answered, computerized forms that get shunted from problem group to problem group within IT, all those seeming impediments to getting what should be a simple permissions issue fixed.

It’s even more frustrating when I had access last Friday but no access Monday morning and IT can’t seem to figure out how to restore that access!

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to fixing these systems is not assigning the cost of my downtime to the actual cause. If we had a charge number for “computer problem” rather than a generic overhead time card charge number the problems would get fixed much quicker.

I call this piece “pin the tail on the donkey” because in most companies, assigning the cost of unresolved or lengthy computer issues ends up looking like the child’s game. A computer problem represented by the paper donkey tacked to the wall and all the people who are trying to get their computer solved pinning the cost of their down time like that paper tail, anywhere they can find a place.

Adding a charge number for “computer down time” as a unique collector would at least allow management to look with some precision at the real costs of IT issues rather than masking them with charges to generic overhead or burn project time on unproductive computer down time.