Thursday, October 27, 2005


I’ve written many times about the importance of Systems Thinking and the need to look at the whole and not just the pieces/parts (end-to-end). I can still feel the pain the IT Department used to cause me because they always seem to have the code, database or implementation plan finished when it was convenient with there schedule.

I tried repeatedly to get them to understand that it is more important to meet the customer requirements and expectations than it is there internal schedules. Are they designing programs for their leisure or the customer?

This past week has brought back those memories in the form of a local city doing major construction on many suburban streets. I’m not against improving the roads and drainage systems, but why can’t the city planning people talk to their customers and survey the area before scheduling for the year. You see the work is being done all around an elementary and middle school. The trucks, mountains of dirt and workers have caused major traffic jams and rerouting through suburban streets. It’s dark in the morning and many of these children walk to school. The line-up of cars looks like a football game just finished. These are not crazy fans but parents in overdrive trying to drop off their kids and get to work on time.

Now, let’s see, when is there no school? Would summer be a good time to do these non-emergency upgrades? There are many other parts of the city that can be upgraded without disrupting the school system. Could it be the city planner’s just schedule without any concern to the degree of disruption? Could it be they don’t see the homeowners or the schools as customers that pay for their service?

I bet the amount tardy slips are way up and the school will not give the kids a break, after all they don’t see the kids as their customers either!

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