19 January 2010

…And thus the plan was fulfilled

A little over a year ago I wrote about being in "search of Friends, Advocates and Colleagues" at our sister company. At the same time I was also searching Work. I had already established all friends, advocates and colleagues and they were quite solid. Instead I was looking to drive technological progression throughout the company. It has been easy to apply technology in areas that had a pressing need, but it was much harder gain acceptance of systems that didn't have a perceived problem but could still benefit from technology backings. This past Friday I heard the magic words, "Daniel, I think you've opened Pandora's Box. Now that we have seen what can be done we have all sorts of ideas." And thus the plan was fulfilled, years of work has been solidified into a single breaking point that has finally burst.

You may think it a little selfish of me to propagate my department into every venue possible. It is only mildly selfish though. When done correctly, technological progression helps the company to run more efficiently and thus saves money while improving performance. In my mind, paper forms are generally one of the more ineffective ways to handle business. For example, we have a form for resolving customer issues. Sometimes the resolutions require multiple managers to approve the resolution and then other people to complete the resolution. Let us follow the paper form through its life. It starts out as a PDF on our intranet site. A salesperson locates, prints and completes the form before giving it to the manager. The manager works with the form until an acceptable resolution has been reached. They then approve the form then and send it to the appropriate party who then process the resolution. In this system there are at least four places where the paper form can be lost and no one would know about it (with the salesperson, the manager, in the mail and with the processor). Converting the form to digital avoids the problem of the form getting lost. The form also travels quicker, especially by avoiding the mail. What used to take days to move can now be done in hours.

Selfish or not, I feel that propagating technological progress throughout the company is a benefit not only to my department, but to the company as a whole.

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