Blunt Blades

“Blunt knives work the hardest”

OSS, when done well, can be a powerful force of efficiency. But when done poorly, or not at all, can be a burden to an organisation.

A past customer has invested heavily in OSS over the years, but the tools have become dated and cumbersome. I was amazed to find that many members of the team were attempting separate rubber band, sticky-tape and string fixes to overcome the lack of recent investment in the tools. Other members of the team were maintaining their own separate and unsychronised spreadsheets because the tools did not have reliable data, meaning that the end customer was receiving confusing mixed messages. No further investment in the tools appeared to be imminent.

Whilst process improvements, uplift to the tools and creation of automations would’ve taken time and money, key stakeholders didn’t seem to notice just how much money was being wasted through inefficient activities and how much the brand was being damaged by delivering mixed messages to the customer.

It was definitely a case of if time was taken to regularly sharpen the blade, then more timber could’ve been cut with significantly less effort.

Unfortunately many OctopOSS projects take significant time and money but still don’t deliver the promised efficiencies, so stakeholders are wary of making these type of investments.

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