Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Workaround – Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty?


An interesting perspective on workarounds pops into view during a recent discussion of frustrations surrounding an ERP software implementation.   
During the conversation mentioned above, a National Account Manager employed by a company serving the construction industry mentioned the term “workaround.”  As the discussion continued, it became clear to me that he saw the term workaround as having a completely positive connotation.   
When I explained how people like myself, who work with concepts of Lean and Six Sigma, usually apply a negative connotation to the term and associate it with “waste.”  He looked as if he didn’t believe me.  In an animated and slightly high-pitched voice he responded, “Really!  I would have thought you technical people saw it as just the opposite – a creative way to improve on a bad situation!”   
Days later, just to make sure he didn’t think I was the only person with a strange negative perception of workarounds, I sent him a link to  “Beware the Workaround” (you’ll l have to scroll down to the December 2009 posting).  In this humorous blog entry, the improvement specialist author, describes a bathroom workaround which at first glance seems smart, but on further review, just looks like it will lead to more waste.         
For an interesting take on how an impending crisis can make a workaround start to look just fine, please also visit Dean Willson’s blog posting Workarounds - Dreaded or Welcome?

1 comment:

Mark H. Davis said...

AHK - Thanks for the plug! Right back at ya with a link on our web resources page. http://www.workflowdiagnostics.com/web-links.html
Keep spreading the word. ~Mark H. Davis, President, Workflow Diagnostics