24 Aug 2016
August 24, 2016

A grumpy rant about time

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I do try. I try to be positive. I try to be constructive and sympathetic to those bound up by corporate realities – well aware that I’ve been bound by the same ties and gags in the past (and may well be again in the future!)

But blame it on the weather, the post Olympic blues or just life but I need to rant. Just quickly and then I can get back on with doing useful things to help.

You seen I think I’ve cracked it – the problem with Protection. Nothing technical, pricing or product driven. It’s way bigger than that – it’s an urgency and delivery thing. It’s the answer to that magic wand question – “the one thing I would change” thing.

Composite of Calendar Pages and Clock

I understand the need for Quarters in reporting financial results through the year.

I don’t like Quarters when planning – even at a high level we need to get used to saying when things need to happen – because if it doesn’t need to happen in October what’s going to make it important in November?

But most of all I hate any project that in any way references Quarters. And yet most insurance companies operate in this way. And when they do these things gradually become acceptable:

“Oh yeah, that’s going really well but there’s been a couple of the usual delays so we’ve just slipped a Quarter”.

“We’ve just had to go up a level to get a final decision so we’re now looking at Q4 not Q3 for that”

“Yeah, we’re looking at Q3 delivery now – so should be in September” (because we all know 99% of all targets are hit in the last 1% of time available)

What’s a Quarter? 3 months. 13 weeks. 65 working days. 91 sleeps. 500 working hours.

That’s a pretty big slippage. I think it’s a units thing. Make everyone talk in days or even hours. Because every hour counts, right? If the thing you’re working towards is actually going to make things better for your customers, for your company, for your staff then the sooner they can use it the better. Every hour counts. Every Quarter sucks.

But at the very least on every project – no matter how internal, how big or how small please please please lets start talking days, not Quarters. Let’s be honest about how many days late you really are because of that extra sign off, that late added little tweak the MD asked for, that frustrating wrangle with compliance.

And yes – maybe I haven’t quite understood how consultancy is supposed to work yet. Because of course the genius of slipping Quarters can pay for my holidays, my lunches, my children’s treats. But I would so much rather get a little less and achieve a little more. So please lets change to a calendar with human things like hours, days and weeks and not accountancy things like Quarters and Halfs (don’t start me on Halfs…)

That is all – Happy, Problem Solving, Opportunity Finding Andrew will be back tomorrow. Until then, have a lovely day!

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