SDD, the ultimate process improvement hack.

michael's picture

Every banker knows the big four names in FinTech: FIS, Fiserv, Jack Henry, and Microsoft. Wait a minute! Microsoft?!? Well, of course. If crazy Russian hackers really wanted to take down the U.S. banking system, they'd find a way to make Excel, Outlook, and shared drives inaccessible for a week. Many, many, many core banking processes would grind to a screeching halt. Without Excel, Outlook, and shared drives community banks and credit unions across the country wouldn't be able to generate or fund loans. Checks would not be cleared and posted. ATM and debit networks would not be balanced and settled. General ledgers would take months to unwind.

A veritable apocalypse just waiting to happen.

To avoid this coming catastrophe, processes must be reengineered to be less dependent on Excel and Outlook and NOT AT ALL dependent on shared drives. Shared Drive Destruction (SDD) is the ultimate process improvement hack. Here are a few reasons why.

Duplication of work
When a file is saved to a shared drive, the activities to select the drive letter and select or create the folder and the file name are known as CLASSIFYING and INDEXING (what is it and who does it belong to). From performing many shared drive content analyses, we find 16-20% duplication of files on shared drives. This means the file has been classified and indexed more than once. You can add one more the activity count if the document is sent to "imaging" to be archived. Add another to the count if the person fills out a barcode cover sheet. Add another if the email with the file attachment is saved to an Outlook folder.

If you had to tell a person the same thing 4 or 5 times, wouldn't you fire them? Maybe since the computer doesn't talk back it gets a break.

Lost business records
Depending on who is naming the folders and files, it may or not be findable later. That's why everyone creates their own copy, so they know where to find it. Depending on the tech savvy of the person saving the file, they may name it to something relevant. Or they may not. Our shared drive analysis often finds thousands of files named something like 0192302982.pdf. Or the file may be buried a dozen folders deep on the shared drive. That content, also known legally as a BUSINESS RECORD, is pretty much lost for ever or is damn expensive to retrieve.

When a new business record is saved to a shared drive, no one else knows about it. Even though it might satisfy some exception or be the trigger to start a new process or keep a process moving along, notification is usually performed after the save by sending an email to the person waiting on it. In addition to being delayed, the email will contain another classifying and indexing activity to point the recipient to the right spot. Or the email contains a copy of the file so the recipient can save a duplicate and perform their own classifying and indexing activity.

The reason shared drives sprawl is because we allow people to design the use of them into their business processes. It's not so much as we allow them as we force them because we don't provide a better and easier way. The process designs they come up with are full of waste and risk. Getting rid of shared drives is challenging because it requires people to change the way they work. The only way to approach it is from a process perspective and engineer the shared drives right out of the process.

There's no need to face Armageddon from your mother of all shared drives when a world class missile defense system built on workflow is available. To get started on your path to Shared Drive Destruction let Agile Banking perform a complimentary shared drive assessment. The results are always ripe with process improvement potential.