Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pushing The Air Plane

A man is driving near Seattle when he comes upon another man who is pushing an air plane down the road.

"What's wrong with the plane?"the man in the car asks. "Nothing" replies the man pushing the plane.

"Where are you pushing the plane to?"


"Why don't you fly it?"

"I don't know how to fly a plane."

"Why don't you learn to fly or hire a pilot?"

"Pilots cost money and I don't have time to learn to fly. Now if you'll excuse me I have to get back to pushing this plane."

How many time have you heard (or said) “We don’t have time to do it right”? Yet it seems there’s always time to take the long road or worse yet, do it twice.

Every company has air plane pushers. In the haste to accomplish some goal, people fail to develop the methods and document the procedures for the task. They concentrate on getting it done rather than how to get it done properly and efficiently. This is the single biggest squandering of company resources there is, replacing efficient methods with more humans and the associated labor costs. That’s great if you're a philanthropist, not so great if you're trying to maximize profits.

Failing to plan causes a hemorrhage of money. Instead of letting out a bit of blood and suturing the wound with nice clean stitches, a dirty band aid is put on the gash and it’s allowed to bleed slightly forever, with all the puss and infection that come with such methods. Eventually this leads to a hospital visit and possibly an amputation.

Technophobia, ego, narrow mindedness, failure to adapt, and simple lack of education or experience all play a part in creating air plane pushers. Often it starts innocently enough. A quick solution is needed for some information requirement, then as the company grows these Git'er Done fixes remain, detaching information from the one version of the truth and causing employees to back-track, re-research, guess and duplicate effort.

How many air planes are being pushed around your company?

Gotta run - I’m off to flight school then my shrink to work on that fear of heights