Whilst on rota leave I was listening to radio Scotland's call Kaye, the subject was  the nurses as angels, the carers or have they gone too far with academic pursuance. I do have some opinion on that but the thought struck me about the ability to monitor everything via computers. So are we actually slaves to the computer as it can accumulate all and every piece of data and "analysis" it. This thought was sponsored by the nurses having so much paper/input work that patients can become "not the customer", the system is driven by feedback usually for costs and not nurses by bedsides. I have to say there were many contributors that praised the  NHS. However I have been contemplating the oil's industries situation where they seek to micro manage their projects by strict adherence to what they want sub-contractors to adhere to born from risk analysis of the cost of failure. Having a QC background in construction, I appreciate and fully endorse QC. But does micro managed QA fulfil a proper function with all systems? I feel that Oil & Gas micro management is born from being able to afford it, along with the tools (computers) and document controllers, to expedite it and the very necessary need to build a safe plant from multitudinous sources of equipment. So far so even handed, but to use a QA system where everything has to be approved by the main contractor and the ultimate client, is for simple civil works, just nuts. An inability to run two systems depending on complexity and criticality of failure. The oil and gas industry have one system of max control. and i am beginning to see the use of computers as key to the functioning of such systems. Imagine using a manual document control system?! using pen and paper and draughtsmen doing drawings. You would think twice about having weekly meetings where monthly ones would suffice, or daily conversations would suffice, the ease with which computers can draw, copy amend, type, track, amend and save as a pdf  have made us slaves to the computer. I do regularly hear senior managers complain about numbers of emails and the time to deal with them. It is so easy to cc everybody or a trail of people into an email, email systems need to have a system of must read now, must read, read when time allows, read only if  the date is etc.  That is one measure that could help control having useful time at a computer instead of clicking to delete unwanted or unessential emails. We must use computers to help us manage better, that means managing time at computers to give us more time to manage the business of construction, health care etc

3 Responses to “computers in modern life”

  1. March 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I agree with the theory but I think there is a benefit to the computer that you are not acknowledging. Before the ready use of the software that comes so naturally to us now, there would have been a much greater need for administration help or an assistant to avoid time being wasted. That need for help is much reduced now due to the use of the software available.

    An idea which I find much for intriguing is the idea of banning email… This is a huge idea to me as certainly I and many others waste a huge amount of time read, reviewing and composing rather than doing. The following article I thought was very interesting but I am not quite sure how the messenger system would work.
    Some how I cannot see my techno-phobic managers willingly embracing any new ideas like this!!

  2. Ian March 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I just spent 2 hours on deleting emails from my inbox and filing those that mattered. Then you go to your sent items and then try to remember those inbox emails that you replied to as the sent email is the complete dialogue email that you really need to keep. Two solutions; dump both inbox and sent, or dump the lot in INVU. How about a “week free” email week ? there is a week for everything else ?
    How do you prove/estimate what number of emails are relevant, its like corridor conversations, it might make sense when you hear/read something else. Sending people really need to think about the relevancy of the email to the sender, I do junk several senders emails on their past sent emails being not relevant. We do have directors whose secretaries filter their emails. We all need secretary software!!

  3. Ian March 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm


    yes of course you are right the computer is very useful as it name suggests, to compute. And I like your idea of banning (internal?) email as the posted link suggests and as we all know the trail through emails day and daily is mostly a waste of time. So without my secretary software how do we control an out of control office management/communication system? Filters that tell all possible internal emailers that you are junking their emails? in other words can we really ban internal emails and use social media, I hardly look social or behave socially on facebook and I have never twittered in my life.
    I am privileged by my years in the company that I can get past Ursula and speak to Jim, and he listens.
    On emails what should I say to him?

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