Speed Bumps

I did some consulting work for a company in New Jersery that had the following procedure to gain access to a sharepoint folder:

  1. Call the off-shore support team between 7am and 9am Eastern to request access.
  2. The support desk will ask for your employee ID and business phone number.
  3. Within 48 hours, an automated system will call your phone with the username and password.


  We had done some work with this company before – and a previous consultant jumped through the hoops to gain access. So, naturally, some of my fellow co-workers used the already established access.

I was not that wise. Instead, I wanted to help the client maintain their sense of security – even if the procedures seemed like a big speed bump.

When I called up the support desk to explain that I was a consultant and didn’t have an employee ID, they were kind enough to pass me around for an hour.

Finally, John (the employee that hired us) gave me his employee ID, and the support desk was ok with using his business phone too. John was on vacation when the automated system called his desk phone. When he got back, he gave me the username & password.

It didn’t work, because there was a 24 hour time period in which to login as a new user. The access had expired. I called the support desk again – and after another hour of being transferred, they were ok with switching John’s business phone to my cell phone temporarily so I can get the automated message.

A couple days later, at 3am, I answered the phone and got a fast, automated message shouting letters and numbers at me. After stumbling around in a dark hotel room for a light, pen, and paper – the message was done.

At that point, I decided that the established access would work just fine for me.

It’s important to know where the huge speed-bumps are in an organization. If they slow things down unnecessarily, then employees will learn to swerve to avoid them. A process that everyone avoids is worse than no process at all.

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