After a conversation with a friend, I wondered why corporate illnesses get to a death march? It is the eleventh hour for many companies and they are asking; "how could these things happen?" Who was asleep at the switch? Why did we let ourselves go to this depth? How do our companies get sick and die, come close to death or suffer protracted illness? Why didn't someone let us know there was a cure? Were we not listening?
If someone was allowed to interview the company managers and “Cs” they may have seen they were not doing things to prepare for illness or prevent it from becoming terminal.
Now the real work begins to salvage, if possible, the organization which was so thoughtfully designed, developed, and at a point, well managed.
I think it was a gradual, unnoticeable decline in systems and processes that snowballed into dysfunctional. Enterprise software systems were said to be too difficult to use. Alternate systems, like spreadsheets and databases, were devised to “simplify” enterprise processes. Then those systems became too laborious to manage and were made into even “simpler” enterprise systems so the work could get out and look and feel like “something” was getting done. All the while the real “enterprise software system” was orphaned to menial tasks. When it came time for the owners to demand results, the enterprise software systems and people could not deliver.
In short, they went from an enterprise software system specifically designed to enable paperless and lean operations and processes to a paper only system because the “enterprise software system” had no accurate, reliable knowledge to support business operations. So they devised a paper system which was only validating a single piece of paper at a time, and not getting into the “enterprise software system”. If it was not in front of someone’s eyes, it did not exist. The real shortcoming is none of the alternate systems linked to each other, the “enterprise software system” or anything else. Departmental silos and islands of information is now their “system”. This Resulted in a “blind system” which is costly, incomplete, and unreliable, cannot support business and will not pass audit.
The moral of the story is don’t dumb down your enterprise software systems in the hope of saving money or time. You just might be sacrificing your entire business. Make the systems work and work to make the systems.
Let’s make a few points on systems and processes: