No circular wait

Sometimes you find a very unorganised tool landscape at the customer’s that costs the organisation enormous resources on a daily basis and makes proactive work impossible. In particularly financially weak IT organisations, old tools are often held on to for too long; in relatively wealthy IT organisations, tools are purchased first and integration can then take place later.

Often, even essential information is missing in the processes, which would have to be entered twice between the tools or manually reconciled. In particular, things like manual tracking or monitoring are still manageable when there are only a few open tickets, but virtually explode when many incidents have to be processed.

The stories of how exactly these obstacles came about, why adaptation and integration failed, are often different. But what I see in common is that these organisations have learned to wait for each other. For example, an improvement campaign ends with the conclusion that manual processes cannot be replaced at the moment because another division will soon be introducing a new tool.

Or because the service provider will probably be replaced in a year and a half. Then you can still switch off the manual processes. Often there is a wonderful cycle of constant variation in which there are always new reasons to wait.

However, there are always possibilities to mitigate existing shortcomings. Especially if you know your organisation well, you can easily assess what is worth doing. The new HR tool will certainly take months to decide. But modernising the old leave process (on paper) and trying out the new process can be worthwhile.

I can only recommend introducing “No circular wait” as a rule or checkpoint. Nothing should be omitted just because you are waiting for others. In such a case, alternative solutions must be identified. You can always find a small sustainable improvement.

Primarily, small continuous improvements also help immediately. Secondly, they also increase the pressure to gradually get to grips with the big solution, e.g. the permanent and comprehensive replacement of a tool. In my experience, thinking in alternative solutions also changes the culture of becoming more innovative and creative. Let’s make it happen.

Impact Effort Matrix

P.S.: The circular wait solutions often reside in the blue quadrant, the transformation into manageable green solutions is difficult, but can usually be mastered iteratively.