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Definition of Madness

One of the common definitions of madness is:

  • Doing the same thing today as you did yesterday, but expecting a different result.

If we all accept this definition as valid, why do so many of us resist small or modest change projects?  These are the projects that could potentially generate ongoing cost savings and other benefits. There are a number of reasons why this could be the case. How many are your team guilty of?

  1. Any changes in a core technology or system means that my job is going to be scrutinised. In other words, your people actively resist change because the resulting efficiencies or managed service solutions threaten their own positions.
  2. The effort to change is too great for the promised benefits. Your own planning process could be at fault here. Your team views small change projects as a painful process of justification and case building. Even where a change in suppliers improves the service and saves money, they prevaricate - just so that they can avoid any disruption to their routine.
  3. Your own change process assigns values to the project cost which mean that projects with a modest return never make it past the red-line in the priority list. As a consequence, all your efforts are devoted to the major change projects that carry the greatest risk. Leaving some modest savings to fall by the wayside.
  4. If it is not broken.... - This is the catch-all excuse that people hope leave systems and suppliers un-challenged. Your team will always be busy, but sometimes the biggest obstacle to evaluating modest opportunities for cost saving or improvement is a small touch of apathy.
  5. Our existing supplier knows us and our foibles. Supplier loyalty can be a useful bargaining tool in itself. Are you sure that your motives are honourable - or could you be guilty of misplaced loyalty that is adversley affecting your costs.

 Many of us remember the old saying: Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. Have you ever collated the cumulative cost savings that might be generated if your team was actively encouraged to work on some of the smaller, less risky, projects?

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