March 17, 2015

The S-Drawer

Something for tomorrow

A while back I was digitising the publishing process of a daily newspaper. Built around deadlines, our system was optimised to print everything in the next edition. But every week or so we had an item that was scheduled for a future date – not tomorrow. The concept of building a delay into the system was proving alien to the project, difficult to map, and complex (for which read, expensive) to code.

After many meetings, we came up with a simple answer … leave the existing system alone.

We’d been sticking these things in a drawer, the S-Drawer, for over a hundred years to be pulled out the day we needed them. What S stood for had been lost in mists, “Save” maybe? The S-Drawer still worked perfectly and there was no benefit in coding a clever new system. So we went with the obvious option that everyone understood. The bonus, it was free.

If it ain’t broke …

Skippy Strategy: What are you making complicated that you could be making simple? What are your people fighting only because the system is a battle? Not sure? Ask them.