Unaware of the Rut

28 October 2008

Are your business processes stuck in a rut?  How would you know?

I’ve been driving my daughters to the same daycare for the last several years.  First my oldest, who now takes the bus to school, and now my youngest who will spend at least two more years with this daycare.  We’ve moved once during these years but the final portion of the route I drove each morning remained the same.  I choose this route based on the stop-lights, trying to spend the least amount of time at each light.  There was one intersection in particular where I needed to cross four lanes of traffic.  The light was lengthly and long ago I decided to turn right and then left at the next street.  At the next street, I was only turning left so I had to wait for the light and traffic to clear.  It was a short light and I never had to wait long.  Then the traffic patterns changed and the number of cars turning left increased.  It frequently took two lights to get the chance to turn.  I got used to the wait.

Recently driving with my wife, she asked the obvious – why not go straight through the main intersection?  So stuck in my habits, I started to explain but managed to stop myself.  Things had changed and I had not adapted.  My carefully planned route was no longer optimal.  I was wasting time.  I started to drive through the main intersection, enjoying a shorter over-all trip.

Its a small example I know, but applied to business, it begs review of your processes.  Are your processes still optimal?  Has technology changed? Are you doing things because that is the way you have always been doing them? Are you stuck in the rut of working business processes?  Perhaps its time for a review.

MJM ConsultingStrategic Business Consulting – Helping companies grow