Needless documentation hampers performance

Once upon a time, a project manager was reprimanded
by the management for unsatisfactory performance. Then
the project manager decided to document every minute of
every meeting, every decision, every data, every forecast,
every step taken, and then again to document how all the
steps were being tracked, and what were the results obtained.

His logic for doing this was that at the next management
meeting, he would be able to show the management, how his
team was performing in a planned, organized and
coordinated manner. Unfortunately, the detailed and lengthy
documentation took a lot of manpower and resources, which
resulted in the performance being dropped further. The
management scrapped all the documentation and gave the
project to another manager.

This new manager, installed a recording device in his
telephone and gave his approvals over the telephone;
thereby, eliminating the need to type out a requisition, e-mail
or courier it to him, get his approval and then start the work.
Almost all correspondence, even orders and reports were
verbal and the documentation process, was reduced to the
bare minimum, only where it was absolutely essential. Since
every conversation was recorded and archived in a digital
format, retrieving and referencing previous conversation was
fast and easy.

Performance shot up dramatically. Additionally, the
company projected an image of being environment friendly,
as it was saving trees by eliminating needless documentation.
Moreover, by regular telephonic conversation, the members
of the team kept in touch with each other, which led to
better business and personal socialization, and a strong team
spirit was forged. All this together enhanced performance.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

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