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Submitted by Jim Clark on


We converted to a new CRM system last January.  A lot of system problems resulted, which necessitated a lot of work arounds to keep the business going.  Now that we're somewhat stable, these work arounds have become the de facto standard processes.

How can I get folks to rethink their current way of doing things so we can get more efficient?  They are the closest to the action and we need them to identify what we can go back and 'fix' so the work arounds that were put in place as a stop gap measure aren't work arounds anymore.

Thanks for the help.

Jim C.

Simon Flowers's picture
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You could show a photo of a vintage car with a starting crank and changing to a normal key start.

It reminds me of someone in the 1980s telling me about their uncle and his 20 year old car.  He had an elaborate way of starting the car:  a knob on the dashboard had to start fully in, then put in the clutch and turn on starter ignition, bring knob half out, release the clutch, and slowly bring the knob to full, then accelerate, with a careful timing not to do it too quickly. Otherwise the car would not start. When he died they took the car to the garage. It was only then that they discovered the knob was attached to the wire that was just hanging inside the bonnet as wasn't attached  to anything !!!

rwwh's picture
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How about two images:

1) Road with roadworks, long detour to bring you to your destination.

2) Roadworks finished. Brand new shiny road, but people are still taking the detour.


jhack's picture

How about a big chart that shows the process flow today, maybe color coded for manual  v. automated steps. 

This kind of chart can highlight inefficiencies and get people thinking about streamlining it. 

Bonus: new folks can understand how things work.  

John Hack

mkirk's picture
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Hi Jim,

Sorry if I'm asking a stupid question, but what's the problem with these 'work arounds'? I don't mean in general (even I can understand that), but in this instance, what are the consequences of not changing? What negative emotions will the team feel if they don't change (no consequences? pissed off customers? personal unemployment?) Maybe relating to the emotion can help with the visual, e.g.

No consequence - errr, you ain't gonna change it, sorry.

Pissed off customers - an unprofessional, lazy person or miserable days in the office or someone losing respect of customers and peers

Unemployment - quite a few options here (but I don't think this is really a direct consequence. At least, I hope not!)

Best Regards


MsSunshine's picture

Expanding John's remark, make the chart something where people can write over to suggest better processes.  I think laminating but it could be too big for that.  But is there some other way you can make it where you can write & erase. 

Then people could scribble new ideas on top and generate discussion.


Jim Clark's picture
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Thanks for the suggestions.  All are worthy of consideration.