The great big sh*t-shovelling machine

My client ran a housing repairs service

Customers could wait a long time for an operative to answer a ‘hotline’. Or visit their Housing Office.

There were six ‘levels’ of repair; each with a ‘resolution time’ (part of the ‘customer promise’).

There were hundreds of codes for the different repairs. Customers and officers didn’t understand repairs, so the code was wrong at least half the time.

Administrators, trying to meet the resolution times, gave out work to operatives, paid by the code, who tried to get the better paid jobs.

Lots of appointments were wasted because the tenant hadn’t been told or couldn’t stay in, because it had got worse, or because the code was wrong.

Work had to be inspected in case the operative had changed the code (more appointments)!

So people called and called again to rebook, complain, make it sound more urgent.

All the charges, costs, parts had to be reconciled by an army of admin.

Planned repairs had gone out the back door — but staff rated themselves as the best in the country at responsive repairs.

The manager’s eyes lit up with understanding.

“So… if we create this sh*t in the first place, we’ve got to build a great big machine to shovel the sh*t”.

What’s the great big sh*t-shovelling machine in your service?

#service #lean #localgov #housing

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