Dear Bob ...
I work in a group of about 40 to 50 people, in a large company owned by a much larger conglomerate with tens of thousands of employees in all.
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I've learned over the years that when a decision is made over your head that you don't understand, it's usually because you don't have all the same information as the people who made the decision. My last boss started to groom me for the next level and giving me insight into some of those decisions. Once I understood this concept, accepting decisions I didn't agree with became easier.
I'm writing because of a major decision made last year to change our time-entry process. The reason for the switch was to standardize all employees, in the parent company and all subsidiaries, on the same system. I can understand and fully support that reason for a switch -- this isn't the first system that's been standardized.
Here's what I'm having trouble with: The old system was very easy to use and made it hard to make a mistake. The new system is very cumbersome and harder to figure out. It's a Web-based tool that looks like it was designed in 1990. It's way too easy to make mistakes and forget steps. A process that took 2 minutes a week now takes 10.
I have not heard of one single person who likes the new system. I have talked with my manager, his boss, and even the head of the department. They all know that it stinks -- but there's nothing we can do. They all feel the same pain as the rest of us.
So that brings me to my question: How can a large successful company make such a seemingly poor decision? You'll probably say there are considerations behind the scenes I don't have access to -- maybe the reporting for this tool saves countless hours each week. It's just hard to imagine something that causes such problems for all the users would have been chosen.
- Curious and Annoyed
Dear C&A ...
The answer is, in one sense, simple: There seems to be an organizational law that establishes the IQ of an organization as a whole. The formula is Average IQ/n, where n is the number of employees. If a company with 10,000 employees hires very smart people and has an average IQ of 120, the company's IQ is 120/10,000 -- very, very low compared to, say, a burrito.
It's simple and fun, but not all that helpful, so here's my guess as to how your company settled on a horrid time-entry system.