Last night my friend John and I attended the Denver International Car Show. We parked in the convention center parking deck which is seldom an enjoyable experience.
For some reason you get routed up a tight spiral ramp to one of the top two floors. I’m beginning to suspect that there are only two floors of actual parking in the whole structure.
Your parking space is numbered. You go to the nearest kiosk (which isn’t always that near), wait in line (which is long during events which happens to be the only time you’d be parking there) and then go through a laborious process of programming in your number and paying for the time you’ll be there either with cash or credit card.
In concept it seems like a system that would be efficient and quick. In reality it is a pain in the neck every time I’ve used it.
John said to me, “Guess these guys need to read The Fred Factor.” My response was that a book about skills wouldn’t help a screwed up system. No Fred-like employee could do much if anything to overcome inferior infrastructure. Once you build out a bad system that becomes part of the infrastructure, you’re stuck–unless you’re willing to spend the time and money to fix the system. Skills and motivation won’t overcome bad systems and machines.
Look at your business and figure out what problems are caused by poor skills and which are caused by poor systems.
That ‘poor skills/ poor systems’ question lies at the heart of a complaint that I’m handling at work right now.
Thanks for the thought – I’ll make sure that I look at both dimensions now.