Today is the first day in over a year that I will be working from somewhere other than my office. It's Monday, which means of course things are slower than normal and the urgency of a Tuesday or Wednesday has not arrived yet. Complicating matters is the fact that I haven’t had to fully dress myself in over a year. Yes, from your vantage point over a camera, it looks like I’m well put together. I think most of us have taken the shorts with a suit-jacket shortcut, or have disdained socks and footwear in general the last year. So when I started looking for those little things, cufflinks, dress socks, tie, and belt…. I was having trouble. After a full year of living in a new place, the reality is I have no clue where I put any of this stuff when I unpacked here in February 2020.
This is the same story I’ve heard for years about buildings. Regardless of the industry, it’s kind of a running joke. That file cabinet full of papers is just that. Drawings were delivered when the project was commissioned, then… usually forgotten about. Occasionally, they get yanked out and referenced, but this is uncommon, and usually you don’t want to rely on these old drawings because things may have changed.
In the last year, the business attire corner of my closet has sat neglected. Maybe your file cabinets are similar? After all, when do you really ever reference those drawings and why? There is a parallel here with dressing for a meeting. It’s not important until it’s go time. When you need a belt to hold up your pants, you need it right then, not tucked away. The same is true with your information and data.
We all know that time is money. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. Those in operations know first hand that non-functioning manufacturing equipment implies the same thing as an elevator being down in a high rise. So, I’ll challenge you again. When you are ready for go-time, is that file cabinet still so unimportant?