These past couple of days I’ve been able to witness the magic of bureaucracy in play, and I’m not impressed. We have a big project due that came forth as a reaction from something another company did. I could tell you all about it, but that would not only defeat the purpose, but possibly get me fired.
During the entire process, everything has been jumbled, people are using corporate bogey men to get people to work on projects and the general lack of organization prompted me to get my shit together, organize via a work table and start writing everyone that owes me sections required for the development of the piece. During the process, I’ve received four final versions of 3 documents, I’ve developed concepts and given direction to our artist to develop 3 cover, because after they've agreed to the concept, they change their minds because it's not the way they thought it'd look. The balls on these people are big enough to make Spalding proud.
If I hadn’t created the table and wringed a few necks, I wouldn’t have received the information, and even so, I’m still receiving documents, which means that I’ve verified over a hundred pages worth of documentation just to get the shit done. “Final” documents with typos, out of format, and poorly written/executed. I’ve made my annotations and track changes, and slowly and eventually, people are responding with the urgency of Droopy on oxycontin.
Looking at this whole process, it’s funny I often hear so many people talk about quality service, quality mentality and quality whatever, when their output is lo-fi and poopie quality. In addition you get to see some professional finger wagging and finger pointing (two separate events on the corporate jack ass Olympics) and only recently are we getting anywhere near to finish a subpar document. I’ve left work late, worked overtime, busted my ass and the response is lukewarm at best. Which gets me to think something so obvious that it’s borderline offensive.
There HAS to be a better way to work.
This might seem like such a natural thing that you’d think everyone would be on the same page, but no. People have scheduled dozens of meetings, the project owners change opinions on a whim, details and instructions do not arrive to the required people and we all end up looking a little bad to put it lightly.
When you look at this and most company processes, it’s funny to realize that the problem came from the first step. This project came about as a reaction. We are reacting to something, someone else did. And granted, it’s not to say that company penis envy isn’t funny, but I'm not saying it's efficient or productive either.
When you break down all the effort we’ve done, each and every step has been a reaction. We have to do a project because someone did something. We have to change the cover because someone didn’t like something. We have to do X because Y happened. Ok…. So why aren’t we planning better? Why are the meetings based on reactions rather than decisions? Why are hours being spent on something that will have to be revised?
The answer is simple… because we allow it to be that way. Tomorrow I have a meeting where I’ll do my part to put this puppy into gear. It will be stated what we can do, what we can’t do, and what we should do. Not sure if I’ll put up a follow-up post to this, but for some reason I felt the urge to share… because I know I’m not the only one in this situation.
So here’s to you friends, may we all be able to rein in those out of control projects and proactively develop solutions rather than half ass reactions that just serve to inspire us to drink.