It always looks good on paper…

I’ve been doing a bit of research work this week on the trends, challenges and solutions for various industry verticals and came to realise that things always look good on paper. When it comes to the reality, the outcome, most often, is a different thing altogether.

For example, apparently there’s a new upcoming practice called Integrated Practice Units (IPU), which is essentially (simplistically looking at it) gathering or co-locating all the medical resources that’s related to a particular condition in order to reduce redundant processes, streamline costs, reduce waiting time and ultimately resulting in a better outcome and experience for the patients.

However, what I discovered was that while implementing the IPU model, many healthcare organisations are still stubbornly following their old processes, resulting in a weird hybrid model that still resulted in the same problems faced previously. This, coupled with no establishment of proper measurement of outcome resulted in long waiting hours, confusion and eventually, poor experience for the patients.

Another example came from a case study that I sat through during the week. It was about how a major retailer implemented a mobile payment solution for their retail store to allow customers to make payment for their purchases immediately at the various departments. This is to create more convenience for the customers for a better shopping experience. One of the objectives was also to reduce the chances of customers leaving the store without making the purchase due to long queues at the payment counters.  However, when some of my colleagues visited the store, they realised that the customers still have to go to the immobilised payment counters to make payment for their purchases on the mobile payment device. The desired outcome wasn’t achieved. Not only is the cost of the implementation wasted, the reputation and credibility of the retailer was also affected as they were being ridiculed for a sloppy implementation.

Things always look good on paper, however, the human factor is always the weakest link. There are many good ideas but ultimately when they fail, it’s always because of the people behind the failure. Looking at this, we might have to always consider the human factor and the possible outcome that will arise and take pre-emptive measures in order to ensure a higher chance of success for these ideas.

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