Never Forget The Core Idea

Jan 07, 2016

When implementing change in our business or daily lives, we must never lose focus of the core idea, the <em>raison d'être<strong>, </strong></em>of the thing we're changing. Doing so may lead to detrimental effects in the long run.

Let's consider a large company that has recently created a central IT service desk. Users can call in or email their issues, talk to a technician, and have their issues resolved very quickly. In order to reduce costs, management decides to "streamline" this process. Emails are no longer possible. Support staff is reduced. Users are sent through an awkward self-service application with poor usability. Automatic phone response systems are set up.

At first glance, these measures seem to be beneficial to the company. After all, the service desk cost is more than halved. What we often forget to look at, however, is the reason why the service desk was established in the first place: so users have properly working IT, which is nothing but a tool they need for their job.

The effort for IT support - and thus the cost - is, in actuality, not reduced. It is merely shifted to the users, which should spend their time doing their jobs and not fixing their tools. This creates internal stress and additional pressure, which can't be beneficial for the large company's bottom line.

Whenever we forget to consider the core idea of the thing we're changing, we're usually making an expensive mistake. These kinds of mistakes are especially nasty since they often entail the illusion of success.