or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
I donated a fiver to a very brave chap I know called Nigel (way braver than I, must admit), this week, to help fund a housing group by doing a skydive, to bring a big charity effort to Nepal, this autumn. It got me thinking, what's the most dangerous things I have done, should I get more on my 'bucket list'. "Get a bucket list" is number one on there, when I start one.
Reflecting on it, often the most dangerous thing we can do, particularly with our habits and work processes, is to always do what we have always done. That is even when things change, and as we all know, change can be our only constant at times. It's like a bust stop near me labelled 'Dog and Dart'. It's a pub that was demolished about 15 years ago, replaced with retirement housing. There's not even a round blue plaque on the wall declaring, 'One of Greenall Whitleys' abominable Grunhalle serving pubs, stood once on this spot, 1968-1999' or similar.
We need to continually question what we do, why we do it, what it's for, is it still relevant. I have a revealing 'change' story about a newly-wed and some super lemony, lemon drizzle cake, that's too long for here, but if you catch me at any of the conference events coming up http://tonysmiththathousingitguy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-conference-season.html , I will be happy to share over a coffee/something stronger.
For many organisations, it's a special event, project or expenditure taken from a specific finance budget code, when processes, can be examined, to see how they can be improved. I do a lot of that work, so it's a familiar situation for me. It kind of runs through me like letters in a stick or rock, if you engage me or let me on your premises, I will be looking to change something for the better.
That 'better' is rarely to make savings, its increasingly to make people more efficient and free them to do a lot more of what humans do best. Sometimes, your systems hold your organisation back, other times it might just be your procedures. Here's an example. "Invoice authorisations require application of a rubber stamp and two signatures, before being passed for adding to the finance prelist".
Your auditors will be perfectly happy with the digital authorisation, in your HMS, by two (or even optionally 3 or more defined) people, restricted by your internal standing orders. They might of course insist that your passwords are changed monthly, are of 8 characters or longer and everyone logs in as their self into Windows with AD authentication. You just need an agent or prompt for change.
Auditors can be similar to dentists, visits should be regular and often. Leave a big gap and you can guarantee, it's going to be a painful visit. They generally see many organisations and can supply excellent signposting, particularly if they have other housing customers, with similar housing and financial systems as yourselves. Also take your cues from upgrade logs too. Once you have dissected the 30 new features from this year's 67 bug fixes, you have some new opportunities to do things differently.
Related Post: Fooled Again - Make a better job of procuring software in future
Weezer – Everybody Get Dangerous.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!
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