How to waste money and upset people

12023750-hospital-road-sign-on-a-white-backgroundOnce upon a time there were 6 people working for the NHS. Two of them in particular (let’s call them A & B)  were working on a function required by law which was difficult but over the previous 4 years they’d worked on it, sorted it out and had received plaudits for their work and were nationally acknowledged to be leading edge practitioners.

Then the NHS reforms started. Their PCT was being killed off and staff were transferring to  a new organisation. As usual a slotting in process was set up but surprisingly both A (the director level) and B (the admin level) person were not slotted in which was wierd as they were the only two working on this function. So they had to apply for their own jobs.

The NHS had decided that because there was no slotting in it was a job that anyone could do so they opened up applications to anyone at the same pay level.

A applied for his job and didn’t get it. B applied for her job (although she was actually applying for 3 jobs at a particular pay grade and once appointed would be allocated a job). There were 3 applicants for 3 jobs. Suddenly a person on the same grade who was on maternity leave found out that the jobs were available and applied. That meant that there were 4 people for 3 jobs. Things became tense. It became intense when it was decided that  the candidate on Maternity leave would be given one of the 3 jobs without needing to attend for interview even though they didn’t work in the particular department. When this was questioned it was found out that this was the law. So someone was going to lose out.

B didn’t succeed at interview. C, D  & E got the three jobs and would be managed by F. C stayed at home as she was on maternity leave. C, D, E & F didn’t know anything about the function. A & B did but had moved on. B has attended another generic interview and been given a different job in a different city doing a job she knew nothing about as it was generic job description.

Time passed. A moved on, B watched D, E & F try to understand a job she had been doing very well for years (and failing). Deadlines set by legislation were missed. The previous high quality system fell into disrepair. Then C returned to work but only half time. She didn’t help much as she knew nothing about the job (and didn’t really want it) so now there were 3.5 people not doing a job that B could have done standing on her head. D decided she didn’t like the job and started looking for alternatives. F went to 3 days a week as she had child care issues and E went on an extended holiday. The only person ready, willing and able to do the job was B who was struggling with a new job she didn’t really want. The big boss was informed of the situation and after a milli second decided that the people who didn’t know anything about the job and didn’t want it should “get on with it”.

A week later B resigned from the job she didn’t want. No-one is happy; no work is being done; a function required by law is lying fallow; millions have been spent destroying a structure that was working. 6 people and their families have been through the restructure grinder and been spat out the other end.

Post script. A & B had created an application in access that managed the function beautifully. It was so good that it was sold on to many other similar teams all over the country. They’re all really happy with it. The original system created by an enthusiastic systems analyst has been destroyed and corrupted by people who don’t know what they’re doing. The analyst has resigned.

Not much to do with information, I know. Had to get it off my chest.

Author: actnowtraining

Act Now Training is Europe's leading provider of information governance training, serving government agencies, multinational corporations, financial institutions, and corporate law firms. Our associates have decades of information governance experience. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality training that is practical and makes the complex simple. Our extensive programme ranges from short webinars and one day workshops through to higher level practitioner certificate courses delivered online or in the classroom.

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