Matti Kinnunen
Feb 1, 2011
Posted in category: 2011 Member Articles

How busy is busy?

As a consultant, I depend on my client’s personnel to complete my job. Most of the time – even with current social media tools and instant messaging and email – there simply are no alternatives to a face-to-face meeting. So, I need to book meetings. And since I am usually working to a deadline, and a tight one at that, I would really like to have the meeting soon, not in the distant future.
But usually I cannot book the meetings. Especially when I need to meet more than one customer’s person at the same time – we call these meetings workshops – more often than not I find out that everyone is busy, with calendars full of meetings for the coming two weeks.
How can that be? Are all those meetings really necessary? Even if every meeting were necessary, would that make for high productivity?
A while ago, I was in a customer workshop where a representative of SAP AMS provided explained the offered AMS service. It turned out that the service was run as a factory. And that they could live with strict SLAs while keeping the costs low.
How could they do it? The answer was simple. They were managing personnel as machines and taking advantage of proven management practices. The most important practice turned out to be limiting workload to maximum 80 percent.
Why can’t we adapt this simple wisdom in normal office work in ICT management? There are many ways to do it: keeping regular meetings as few and far between as possible, not booking more that 3 hours of meeting for any single day.
The question is: if we can manage our factories properly, why can’t we manage our own worktime as well?
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