Thursday, July 22, 2004
Maybe he should be consulting for SAP:
New Government Computer System Takes 15 Steps To Save A Document
. . . It turns out that a new SAP powered computer
system at two offices of (of all things) the Federal Technology Service
(the GSA's info tech procurement group), has slowed things down to a crawl
They're blaming the training procedure... but apparently they were trained without actually seeing the
system they were being trained on (no, seriously). The article claims
that the GSA was shocked to discover that practice and theory didn't
match, and that employees actually needed trainers on hand to help them
when they actually had the new system in place. Of course, one reason
why they might need training is that the system sounds ridiculously
complex. It now takes 15 (count 'em) steps to save a file. Meanwhile,
bills go unpaid, orders go unprocessed, and the group insists they're
going to muddle through because turning back is not an option and
"workarounds" will upset the auditors. . .[Techdirt
In the first place, don't these folks understand that training works
best when it's hands-on? People learn by doing, not by being told.
Secondly, this is an interesting insight about an SAP system. The new issue of Business 2.0 includes an interview with SAP CEO Henning Kagermann
(subscription required, maybe?), who insists that his software must be
inflexible in order to provide accurate accounting. He equates
inflexible with accurate. But we all know that unusable does not equate
to accuracy. Unusable software increases errors. Frustrated users make
mistakes. In this case, unusable software results in unpaid bills. How
does that make for accurate accounting?
[Unnecessary disclosure: yes, I work for a competitor of SAP.]
© Copyright 2002-2005 Fred Sampson.
Last update: 5/21/05; 10:22:51 PM.
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