An opinion on optimization.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? The 2020 version of this idiom is, “Don’t create solutions for problems that don’t exist”. Sound familiar? Like that new memo that seems to come through every other week, the SOP for the SOP, or the grandiose policy shift that everyone knows is just going to create more work.
“There is a fine line between creating more paperwork for the sake of paperwork, and actually optimizing operational processes.“
There was nothing broken with walking, then we jumped on a horse and could travel faster, longer, and carry more. There was nothing broken with one horsepower, then we built trains, automobiles, and airplanes to create the same quantum shift in productivity. Do more faster, and better. The old way worked just fine, but why not optimize. It is what we are collectively driven to to, albeit sometimes slowly.
Newton’s first law of motion says, “an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an equal or opposite force”. The same thing applies to opinions. Also, how do some people that start diametrically opposed to a new technology end up as one of it greatest proponents in the long run. Like your Grandma that hated cell phones until she learned how to text and now won’t stop blowing up your DM’s with emojis. (We chirp, but all love it deep down.)
“In the business world where ROI is king, it’s not about what it costs upfront, but what costs it will prevent in the long run.”
While we are obviously biased towards the benefits of technology, Industry 4.0, and the so called IoT (Internet of Things), this methodology is paralleled across industries, and operational procedures under some modus operandi of continuous improvement.
We have all seen this first hand. Remember those relics of the late 20th century called shopping malls, or more specifically the department stores on either end of them? With the rise of online shopping, did they really think shoppers would be continuously satisfied with browsing the beige Matrix over comfortably scrolling on the couch in their underpants eagerly awaiting near instant delivery? This is a prime example of the old marketing phrase, “If you want people to buy something, it needs to be more convenient than what they already have.”
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