This isn’t really a ranting blog or anything, but sometimes I get so enraged at people or situations at work, that I feel it necessary to vent. Also, I think it’s relevant to anyone trying to redesign their work life.
Why do people CONSTANTLY feel the need to reinvent the wheel? You have a way of doing things, and the more you do this process, the more efficient you become and less mistakes you make. This is true of nearly any human process. We are creatures that perform better with practice.
Yet, for some reason, people feel the need to redesign a process that doesn’t require redesign. You hear the same excuses again and again – “This might take a little extra time at first to implement or get used to, but once it’s up and running smoothly for awhile, we’ll be working more efficiently.” Guess what? By the time you’ve reached a state of optimal efficiency again, someone else comes along and decides to CHANGE THINGS AGAIN.
In a perfect scenario, a system is designed, and continual use of that system overcomes learning curves and peak efficiency is established. You can make tweaks along the way without forcing people to regress on the learning curve. When you keep reinventing a process or function, you get caught up in this continuous wave of learning curves. See below:
Ideal Learning Curve Trend
This is standard – early on in learning something, you know very little, but you learn and develop an ability in a shorter period of time. Over time, you get better, but at a slower rate. If time were to extend out further in the graph above, the skill/ability would plateau and you would reach your peak ability/efficiency level.
Graph for Idiots Who Like to Reinvent the Wheel
This graph isn’t perfect (and it speaks to my Microsoft Paint skills), but you can see the general trend. The learning curve follows the same trend as the first graph (time is on a greater scale in this graph, so the line is compressed).
However, someone comes along and introduces a new process. Maybe you don’t start at ground zero, but if you have a relearn a process again, the learning curve must run its course again. If you continue to run things this way, you never allow your efficiency level to plateau because those learning always need to restart again near the beginning of a learning curve.
So then you ask: What about new technology? What about innovation? Haven’t many things been invented that perform a similar function as something old but allow us to perform a task better or faster? Of course. I am very much a proponent of technological innovation.
However, if you look around, new technology and innovation tends to offer new function or at the very least, builds off of something you’re already familiar with (if you use whatever product we’re talking about). In such a scenario, you don’t restart a learning curve. Your plateau may dip slightly, but then it increases and you ideally plateau at a higher level.
My rant is really aimed toward those who attempt to fix problems that don’t exist. They create a new process under the ideal notion that things will get better or more efficient, when in reality, this is not a practical expectation. Please stop. You’re wasting our time.
____________________________________________________________________ 30-Day Challenge Update – Day 18 (2/12):
V-Day Dinner $ 24.00 <–Thanks to Groupon
Day 18 Total $ 41.87
30-Day Challenge Expense Total: $319.73
“Allowed” Expenses Remaining $180.27
Average Daily Expense to Date: $17.76 (Target Average: $16.67/day)