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That's What It's All About

    You put a process in; you take a process out. You find another one and you shake it all about... And in the end you hope to make your employees happy; your business more efficient; and yourself a little happier too, maybe.

    Fortunately, the process I identified that could be eliminated was an easy one to eliminate. All I had to do was stop doing the tasks associated with it. For those of you who haven't read my previous posts on this topic, I recently went on a quest to find a process to eliminate. I identified a report that I was doing a significant amount of work to prepare for that was no longer needed.

    After having eliminated the process through inaction, it was time to figure out if there were any other things that I could do that would take advantage of the fact that the report, and the related tasks and tools required to prepare the report, were no longer required.

    What I discovered was that the elimination of these tasks allowed me to streamline my data gathering tools by removing redundant sections on forms and by getting rid of some tools altogether. Columns in data tables could be removed; calculations could be deleted; and entire forms could go away.

    BACKUPS ARE WONDERFUL THINGS - One of things I was careful to do during all of this was to make backups of the data. I was also careful to not actually delete anything in a way that I couldn’t get it back. Instead of deleting files I would rename them. For example, a file named “Dept_Attend_Report.xls” could be renamed, “DELETE_Dept_Attend_Report.xls.” Renaming the file was enough to break most links to it. And if I needed to revive the file, all I had to do was go back and change the name back to what it was.

    The changes I made to the data tables due to the elimination of the process also made the data tables operate more efficiently in our system. So not only would the data gathering task be quicker because I wasn’t gathering as much data in general, but the task would also be quicker because the system would be more lean and efficient! Bonus!

    I assumed that my luck, being what it was, would cause the departmental training attendance report to come back into vogue as soon as I dismantled all the redundant tools I had in place. But that hasn’t happened yet, knock on wood.

    I can hear all of you yelling at me now. What about the people!?!  This entire post has been about data tables and not very HR related. Well that’s true and then again, maybe it isn't. The other benefit of doing all of this techy, background work was that it had an impact on a young, up-and-coming employee. This employee has been helping with these processes as part of his career development. He was overjoyed to see the processes being simplified. The time he has to work in this area is extremely limited since his primary role is another area, so making more efficient use of his time was HUGE bonus for him.

    And making an employee a little bit happier while also making the business run a little bit better is what it’s all about.

    The next post or two on this topic will likely be updates on whether or not any other unexpected problems, or benefits, have arisen.

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