"Are we the worst you’ve ever seen?"

This is not an uncommon question for me to hear from my new clients. As we start digging into how they manage data, a lot of oddities and unusual practices are discovered (often along with a lot of GOOD practices!). Very often, as we dig into a particularly unusual process, someone on staff will say “This is terrible! Are we the worst you’ve ever seen?” My stock answer is “No, I’ve seen worse.” Which is true, since there can only be one “worst.”

In yesterday’s Washington Post, there was an article called “A Sinkhole of Bureaucracy,” which focused on an underground office operated by the Office of Personnel Management. This office employs 600 and processes all federal employee retirement paperwork. And it is all still done manually. As the article points out, there are 28,000(!) file cabinets to house all the paper being processed.

Think your office is bad? Read the article, and know that it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be…

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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