2.21.2006

Efficiency!

We use a document management system at my office. It indexes all of our files, and stores them in on the network such that everyone has access to them. Having worked in offices where people just save documents wherever they feel like, and name them according to whatever indecipherable code they can come up with at the time, I think this program is great. One no longer has to hunt through an endless maze of folders and symbols that would humble Indiana Jones in order to find that letter the person in the office next to you was working on yesterday.

Well, my office is currently upgrading this software and I had to take a 45 minute class on the new interface. This new interface is almost exactly like the old interface. The bulk of the class was spent going over new features in the new version. Most of these new features allow one to do something that took 10 seconds in 1 second. Think about the efficiency. Processes now can take a tenth of the time!

That seems pretty great, but let us take a look at the math. I figure that after the class I will save about 9 seconds on average on various tasks related to this program. I should point out that the old, slow 10 second method still exists in the new version. The class took 45 minutes, or 2700 seconds. In order for this class to have been a good use of mine, and my office's, time, I have to perform this new function 3,000 times. Let's say I use these features about 3 times a day on average. Thus, I will have to be here for 1,000 work days, or 200 weeks in order to justify the class. That is about 4 years, assuming no further upgrades and training, before my company starts reaping the benefits of this class!

I realized that there is no way that my company can derive a benefit from this class. This is partly due to the fact that further upgrades and classes are inevitable. But there is another reason that I think this graph clearly illustrates.

So it is clear that the 9 seconds I have gained will quickly evaporate. Hell, I can even see reaching the point where just turning on the computer becomes a small victory.

1 comment:

  1. You could gain several seconds each day by leaving your computer on overnight. Think of the savings!

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