Idiot-proofing…

We all know the term:  “Idiot-proofing”   Making a job or a task so fool proof any idiot can do it.

It seems I’m asked every day to “idiot-proof” some process or another.  Make it so the Jr. guys can handle it.  make it so they couldn’t break it if they tried.  Make it so we can hire 5 guys at 20% of your salary to do your job.

Here’s an idea.  How about instead of idiot-proofing every process, we stop hiring idiots?

If you have to worry about the fact your unix engineers don’t know their way around VI, or your windows engineers are too frightened to click ‘regedit’ maybe the problem isn’t in the process, maybe it’s in the hiring.

I know everyone wants to save money…but staffing is the WRONG place to save money.  Mostly because it doesn’t work.  I have billed out more consulting hours trying to ‘idiot-proof’ a process than they probably saved in 5 years of cheap labor.  And guess what?  Technology changes, and people who can’t learn and adapt to a new technology or situation, aren’t going to cut it, then you’re going to be calling me in to do it all over again.

I don’t mind, I love having the work.  Being a storage guy who specializes on Disaster Recovery, Replication, Migration, and Automation has meant I haven’t had a single period of unemployment longer than a vacation since 1996.

But when you make me jump through hoops designed to keep the $25/hr “admins” from breaking the SAN, it gets old, and it slows me down.

And I bill whether I’m working or waiting on whatever disaster of a change-management process you’ve put in place to try and protect yourself.  Rate is the same either way.

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