Heads Up!

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

LET’S face it, time is precious. In fact, your days are numbered. So too, are your hours, minutes and seconds. Even your breaths can be measured by the time they take. On average, you should be taking between 16 to 20 breaths per minute. How can we do more with the limited time that we have?

Although computers allow us to do more, we sometimes restrict ourselves by the manner in which we setup our computer systems.

In reality, we are unable to keep pace with the core computing technology around us. Therefore, a significant goal of correctly setting up and using a computing system, is to make sure that you do not contribute to these delays already experienced by its users.

Although expert users notice (and will be bothered by) the slightest delay when using a computer system, it seems that other people only fuss about delays when they are being inconvenienced by such delays, when they have another task to complete.

To help us, properly-designed computer systems give us a hint to prepare ourselves. In many ways, these hints give us early warnings to help us make better use of the time available. For example:

* An elevator “pings” to let us know that it is about to open;
* The ATM beeps to tell you to take your card; and
* The yellow/amber traffic light appears to prepare you to safely stop before the light turns red.

These devices have been designed to work well with people and to help us to use our time more effectively. These simple warnings allow us to be prepared when we interact with computer operated devices, and to coordinate our actions more effectively and safely.

Think about it. Wherever time is being squandered, then money is also being squandered. When you are designing a business process or a computing system, you should always cater for those people whose time is valuable.

Here are examples of time being squandered:
* You wait unnecessarily long on a queue for service;
* Being forced to visit several queues before completing a transaction;
* Forcing face-to-face interaction for activities that could be easily completed online.

The key idea is to be kind to your staff, customers and clients, by showing that you value their time. They will reward you for the courtesy that you show.

Please continue to share your timely views on these articles. Contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.

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