Home > Business > How some piece of software started a very bad habit

How some piece of software started a very bad habit

I’ve never been a person who’d been late for meetings. I think I was late once to school and is the kind of person who really makes sure that I’m on time. We’re always first arrivals at parties.

But when I started working for my current employer, I started missing meetings and becoming late at occasions. I even have double booked meetings in my calendar. After having worked for nearly 15 years, one cannot help wondering what started this bad habit.

And it boils down to software which does not help me in the most fundamental way. When I’m invited to a meeting it is crucial to know if I’m already booked. I guess that this is just not me; most people have a problem being at two places at the same time. So, a calendar for professional use should probably warn me directly if I’m invited to a meeting when I’m already booked in my calendar.

Also, if I make a booking, it’s good to know if the participants are available or not during the time in question. And again, this is hopefully not just me but a universal need for everyone.

So, what happened was that I started using the calendar in Lotus Notes, and who ever is responsible for this system does not find this to be a fundamental need: I need to do some clicking before I learn if I’m already booked or if I try to make a booking when people are already busy. And if I accept or suggest a double booking, I’m not prompted or warned. I guess the product owner at Lotus Notes is a super hero with the power to be at several places at the same time, so I guess that is why he haven’t seen this need as a universal, fundamental need for the booking process.

So, what has sneaked into my habits during the months past is that I’m always double booked for meetings. Since I can accept or book meetings without this being flashed in my face, I’ve started to see it as less of a problem. But it is a problem and a bad habit.

But the lesson is more important than so. If we just imagine the product owner of Lotus Notes being that super hero who can be at many meetings at the same time, he can either realize that his reality is a bit different from others, why a need that he doesn’t have is really important. But one cannot wonder how often you just disregard a crucial need just because your reality is a bit different from everyone else.

  1. Antti Kaiponen
    2009/07/15 at 9:17 pm

    Phew, I thought I was the only one with constant double bookings 🙂

    Where as LN could’ve been done to be more logical, it would be interesting to know how much time we would save annually if everybody _actually_ knew how to use it efficiently!


  2. Anna Forss
    2009/07/16 at 6:07 am

    that is true, Antti. A lot of stress would be lessened by learning and training. I’m thinking a great deal about how we could share knowledge better. There’s loads of knowledge of for example LN in our organization and people seldom have time for these long training sessions. I was thinking more in the line of open short work shops surrounding different systems where the participants can give their top tips and discuss their biggest problems. But the form must work for all our Nordic countries, so if you have ideas, please share

  3. Antti Kaiponen
    2009/07/16 at 5:16 pm

    Something like Yammer could help(http://www.yammer.com/). Altough there are no systems that are overnight solutions, people has to adopt those too.

  4. Anna Forss
    2009/07/16 at 8:14 pm

    we’ll get back to this! thanks for the tips

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