or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
I was reading an article on LinkedIn a few weeks ago, about why in cars where we can drive ones with an automatic gearbox, most of us in the UK and wider Europe choose a manual 'stick shift'.
It was quite interesting as I have always driven a manual, probably thinking too that a 'special' licence for 'Automatics' devalues it somewhat. Stereotypically I imagine the whole of the USA driving automatic automobiles and it being very difficult there to even buy or hire a 'stick-shift'.
I won't be so rude here to share my 'American Tourist Stick-Shift' joke, but ask me when you see me next out and about, and I might! I don't want to offend any of my many North American readers.
So, with the convenience and better fuel economy these days of automatics, why on earth do we not all switch over to them? Well, its probably the same answer to the question, "If we have proper dynamic scheduling for repairs, why do we lock so many jobs down manually?". Well, probably because people like their control don't they?
It's a bit hard-wired into us. I know some people who have their CD's, LP's, books (fiction and non-fiction separated naturally...) and tinned food, sorted into alphabetical order on shelves and cupboards. We like our control and carry on our habits, when in the car or out of it. We find it hard to let go.
I am not doing an ad for any particular dynamic scheduling solution, but I know many RSL DLOS and independent contractors with them. This problem of not letting the algorithm do its stuff is extremely common. Locking down jobs by timeslot AND resource is often the main issue with users of Dynamic Scheduling. It inherently disables the whole dynamic, automated element of these applications. Much like automatic gearboxes could perhaps give us slightly better fuel economy, albeit at a more boring and sedate speed.
Maybe we should be trusting some of our systems more, as under the bonnet they will have been programmed to do the best job, won't they? Dynamic scheduling is often cited to me as one application where directors ask me, "Why have we got more planners now than we started with"? Well, perhaps because we are still working a bit like it's got a 'stick-shift'. Let operatives finish their jobs, don't lock to resources and let the application do its magic. Planners should then just deal with the exceptions. You know what, we will perhaps need less planners then.
Management have a role to play here too. If managers don't check how many appointments are locked each month and why, it is hard to change the service and how it is delivered. While follow-on jobs with the same operative means they take responsibility for the whole job, hopefully technology should enable any operative to do that second part. It's a change of culture, but one that can be only enforced by managers, as well as technology.
Related Post: The DLO Internal Workforce is on its way back. Are you rolling with the changes?
I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.
The Vibrators - Automatic Lover.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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