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Do Your Deadlines Go Whoosh?

(And other signs you might have a process problem)


I’ve had various versions of this conversation over the last few months.


Other Person (OP): Tell me about what you do.

Me: I help companies provide better service and be more efficient by improving their processes. For example, I re-organized the delivery process for marketing assets and created a new incident management system for an operator.

OP: Oh man, I know so many companies that need this. So many gaming companies just throw more people at a problem.

Me: I know. I’m certified in service delivery methods, and as far as I know, I’m the only person doing this for on-line gambling.

OP: You could help with marketing, customer service, games delivery, basically anything where someone is using IT to deliver a product or service.

Me: Exactly.


This speech varies a little, dependent on who I’m talking to, but sooner or later this comes up.


OP: How do you get people to admit they need help? They all think their processes are perfect.



Aye, now there’s the rub.

(© W. Shakespear)



So, here are a few signs that maybe things aren’t working as well as you think.


  • Due dates are more of a guideline than a commitment and deadlines making a nice whoosh as they fly by.

  • Relations between departments are less than cordial, tech and sales are building forts and aiming nerf guns at each other.

  • Team leads or project managers are stressed, they’re considering going to the bar every day. At 10 am…


On a more serious note;


  • Do you hear a lot of complaints about other teams? Why haven’t engineering finished yet, Sales have made promises we can’t keep, marketing didn’t tell CS about the new promo.

  • Are you refereeing a lot of disagreements on who is responsible for what? Are tasks often the responsibility of Everybody, somebody, anybody & nobody?

  • Is a lot of communication just status updates? Stakeholders checking on the progress of their requests.

  • How often are deliverables delayed for reasons you can’t quite figure out? It’s just how things are.


If any of these apply to your company, it might be time to take a look at your operational models.


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