Band-Aids are quick but are they enough?

 By William Seidman I recently worked with a management team that was in extreme pain. They wanted immediate relief.  I got them to admit that it had taken several years to create this painful situation. It’s human nature to hope that a workshop and a simple prescription — a piece of new software or a brief training — will heal everything. Sometimes I’m asked for a redesign of an entire business process. But I often find that what is actually wanted is some analysis and some conclusions that justify moving the problem from the suffering team to either another one, or … anywhere else! When revenue targets are fixed, headcount and other costs are declining, and the core of the business process is dependent on unreliable software, the math won’t work, and neither will the logic. There is an out though. It is to step back and do a deep redesign based on these parameters. That’s what  we proposed. It’s not lightning-fast, though, and the team wanted something quicker-acting. They decided that, rather than really repairing some deep damage, that they’d do some shuffling of the pain and hope it solves the problem. My prediction is that they will be back talking to us again in 2 months. The pain will be worse, and now they will have lost 3 months. It’s a scary way to manage.]]>

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