Christmas: the back-office story

Beneath a glittering sky, Bethlehem sleeps.  But in one dark corner a lone man bangs his desk with frustration.

INNKEEPER:  Bloody ERP system’s crashed!  First we had all those people coming for the census.  And now this: a pregnant woman and I can’t add a ‘stable’ option to the drop-down room menu.

MAN:  Hold down the function key and press ‘N’ for new.

INNKEEPER: [Starts] Blimey, where did you spring from?  Look: we just don’t have any more rooms.

MAN: That’s OK.  I’m here to help.  You know there’s a mobile version of that, don’t you: you could be entering this information while you’re walking around…

[The innkeeper’s eyes narrow]

INNKEEPER: What are you, some kind of salesman?

MAN: No, no, not at all, I’m a… [He glows slightly]

INNKEEPER: What was that?

MAN: What was what? [He glows again, this time more brightly]

INNKEEPER: That! That glowing!!

MAN: Oh that…

INNKEEPER: You’re an angel, aren’t you?

MAN: Possibly.

[Pause]

INNKEEPER:  Room 306. Down the hall. Already got a host of you packed in there, so you’ll have to leave the harp with the concierge.

MAN: Not that kind of angel.

INNKEEPER: How many kinds are there?

MAN: We’re diversifying.  Did some customer research.  Apparently, the old broadcast ‘peace and goodwill to all’ style doesn’t work for everyone, so we’re trying a more customised approach – you know, you talk, we listen.  More ‘pull’ than ‘push’.

INNKEEPER: Eh?

MAN: I’m a business angel.  I mean I can already see that you’re going to have problems registering all those sheep in the system.  And the shepherd in 402 really wanted non-smoking.  Look, I can put a team of cherubs together and we can knock up a set of requirements in a couple of weeks.  Allowing for the inevitable delays, you changing your requirements, other demands on our angelic time, we should be able to have it in by Easter.

INNKEEPER: Easter?

MAN: Oops, spoilers! Sorry!  Let’s say three months.

INNKEEPER: But I need it now.

MAN: We’ve got processes and procedures.

INNKEEPER:  You really need to think about an operating model.

MAN:  I’m an angel, not a fairy godmother!

http://thmiii.com/episodes/18/ Eight out of ten clients we speak to say that one of the most important reasons why they bring consultants in is to do things faster.  Even at Christmas.