Passed out new class schedule thorugh the end of the semester.
Note that there will be no class next Friday
Note also that the due date for Short Paper 2 has shifted back a week (to April 10).
The questions and index card assignment due today are shifted to Monday.
Dialectics of Control
- Let's consider a purchasing dept.
- Head of operations
- A set of media
- Forms (Requisitions, Purchase orders, and others
- Formal bid requests
- Direct Interaction
- And more
- And an office layout:
- The department executes a formal process
- Requisitions from client departments
- Bids from suppliers
- Bid analysis and supplier selection
- Finalized transactions with supplier (purchase orders)
- Process varies by price
- < $200 by department (petty cash)
- < $5000 by phone bid
- < $200,000 by written bid
- > $200,000 by published requisition
- < $10,000 approved by operations manager
- < $50,000 approved by director
- > $50,000 approved by V.P.
- As a formalized system, it was known to be very inefficient
- There are several relationships here
- Not just boss to employee
- A status hierarchy of head complement relationships
- Director -> head of operations -> agents -> technicians > typists
- Director -> secretary -> all
- Client departments -> purchasing -> suppliers
- All of this structure is about control
- Minimizing unnecessary expenditures
- Getting the best prices
- Asserting status
- Asserting control
- We have, in effect, a dialectic of control
- The customer controls purchasing
- Purchasing controls the customer
- How does this work?
- Forms via internal mail
- Routing within office
- Bid requests and responses
- Final resolutions
- How could it work?
- Without computerization?
- With computers
- Managed workflow
- Computerizing this
- Issue 1: Looking outside the box
- An external set of eyes isn't trapped by existing process
- But resentments are inevitable
- Issue 2: What are you trying to solve
- Improving performance versus cutting bodies
- Issue 3: Implementation and training
- System complexity
- People create shortcuts and they need ways to make them
- Issue 4: Integrating the existing process
- Supplier reference materials, for instance
- Hard copy was supposed to go away in a "paperless office". It didn't
- Rebuilding the supplier database.
- Existing job descriptions
- Invoking the union
- Issue 5: Measuring success
- Treating service organizations as profit centers
- How do you measure productivity?
- And what was the real problem, anyway?
|| -- Last edited September 18, 2015 |
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