The pool at my townhouse development opened up this weekend. I went soon after it opened. My plan was just to lie on a pool lounge chair for an hour or two with my headphones on and de-stress from a very tough first half of the year.
The procedure is to check in by writing your pool tag number on a
sign-in sheet. They don’t keep track of who comes or when because there
is no limit and no benefit of coming more or less often. They just
want to make sure you have paid your pool fee for the year. You don’t
even need to write down your name. Just the tag number.
This year they have located the lifeguard table all the way on the
other side from the entrance. So I showed the lifeguard that I had a
tag, yelled the number (he was sitting right in front of the sheet), and
sunk my butt on the first chair that was facing the sun. I was
half-asleep in five seconds. But nooooo. He had to yell over to me
that I needed to walk around the pool, write the number “0079” on the
page, and then walk back. There was no reason for me to lie about the
number and the tags are color-coded so he knew it was a 2012 tag.
Why am I sharing this stupid waste of time on a beautiful sunny
morning on an Industrial Engineering blog? Simple. How many of these
processes and procedures are cursing your own workplace? They usually
start out with a good purpose. But then the world changes around them.
Technology gets implemented. Processes get updated. The layout gets
moved around. And pretty soon there are these wasteful processes that
everyone follows either out of habit or because they are dedicated to
following the rules.
Once a year, you need to do a survey of the employees and a procedure
walkthrough to see how many of these relics there are and then get rid
of them. This is the very definition of low hanging fruit. Easiest
million you ever made for your company. Make sure to document the
productivity gain for the next time you are in front of the company
execs doing a cost-benefit for your department.