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Follow the Process

A process isn’t a process if you don’t follow it

I’ve been on the National Yellow Pages consumer choice opt-out list for 4 years.  Since registering, how many times in the last 4 years do you think I have received a Yellow Pages phone book?  That’s right, 4 times!  Each year I receive a phone book and promptly throw it into the recycle bin; each year I promptly submit a complaint to the website. Within 24 hours, I get a notification that they will notify the distributor of the error.

Why does this process fail?

  1. The people who are supposed to follow the process just don’t care.  If the job is to deliver phones books quickly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they dumped the entire annual delivery at the local recycling center and nobody would even care.
  2. The feedback loop is annual.  I doubt someone chooses a career in phone book delivery.  Even if they do read the non-delivery address list, they’ll be out of there before the next annual delivery.
  3. Nobody is held accountable. If they were, I would have complained once. Still, it’s not worth a class-action lawsuit. I’ll just blog about it.

opt-out

 

proc·ess

/ˈpräˌses,ˈpräsəs,ˈprō-/

noun

1.
a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
“developers not unit testing their code could derail the application development process”
synonyms: procedureoperationactionactivityexercisejobtaskundertaking More

verb

1.
perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.
“the various stages in processing the change request”

Still getting a phone book? Tell me why! I’m sure it took a while to phase out buggy whips when the automobile came along. I’m still scratching my head on the whole phone book thing.


About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

2 Responses to “Follow the Process”

  1. July 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Derek,

    This might give you a sense of perspective on the nature of phone book delivery.

    http://meguchan.hubpages.com/hub/Worst-Job-Ever-Delivering-Phone-Books

    I’ve made peace with the occasional need to rake leaves, scoop dogshit, and recycle phone books. Into each yard a little debris must fall.

    • July 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Dave,
      Thanks for the link. It definitely gave me perspective. It made me think back to 1980 and my first job. I delivered newspapers for about $100 a month for delivering around 100 newspapers a day. What a horrible job for a kid.

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