New Government Computer System Takes 15 Steps To Save A Document

from the brilliant! dept

Ah, the federal government at work. When you install a new computer system, you generally do so to make your office more efficient. Not with the government. It turns out that a new SAP powered computer system at two offices of (of all things) the Federal Technology Service (the GSA's info tech procurement group), has slowed things down to a crawl. They're blaming the training procedure, but it says people were trained... but apparently they were trained without actually seeing the system they were being trained on (no, seriously). The article claims that the GSA was shocked to discover that practice and theory didn't match, and that employees actually needed trainers on hand to help them when they actually had the new system in place. Of course, one reason why they might need training is that the system sounds ridiculously complex. It now takes 15 (count 'em) steps to save a file. Meanwhile, bills go unpaid, orders go unprocessed, and the group insists they're going to muddle through because turning back is not an option and "workarounds" will upset the auditors. Apparently, the $46 million of our tax money spent on the system did not go to any usability testing. Among the other descriptive phrases used in the article: "someone bursts into tears almost hourly," "it is very, very difficult to learn the new system," "unnecessarily complicated," and "not always intuitive." Sounds great.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    auMoose Cowherda, 22 Jul 2004 @ 3:45am

    sap - revenge of the germans

    Slow And Problematic
    has there been ANY sap install thats on budget and then resulted in an IMPROVED work flow /efficiency ?
    how long before medium size companies get a clue, dump sap, use the open source environment (collective development) to create a sap replacement, save millions, flourish while large companies with conservative management choke on m$, sap & outsourcing f*ckups... ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2004 @ 9:49am

      Work harder ... not smarter

      Our office recently added a new piece of software to expedite our record keeping of trouble tickets. The system is not hard to learn but is rife with problems.

      Just like the article, it now takes about 4 times as many clicks to record what we used to be able to do with just a few clicks. The " new & improved " system frequently causes our computers to lock up. The program downright sucks & has decreased our overall performance but because some over paid big wig was suckered into buying it, we are forced to deal with it.

      I can't wait till quarterly reports come out and the numbers show in black & white that productivity has decreased.

      The program in question is called: " The Brain " ... employees have taken to saying: " Use The Brain, not your own ".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2004 @ 1:22pm

    No Subject Given

    Off the shelf solutions become Off the wall problems every time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    A Reader, 4 Jul 2005 @ 11:13am


    It's amazing to see that SGA and other big companies rely on the same errors tham several big companies.

    If you have a well organized and put SAp to work you'll probably, after spent milions, with a very good (nad costly too)Training program, see the good results(that be achieved with several other small and more flexible software).

    If your expectation is to organize the company by the purcasing of SAP.... Bad trip all the ways! :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.