Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Nov 12, 2009

A Culture of Procedural Rules Everywhere, Anywhere

Filed under: work — admin @ 12:41 am

Something happened in the nature of deviating from standard practice by at least two people at work place on 11/3. We expected two monitors for our company this week for one study. One was sick, so the other asked us to see if she could come to our site on the day she was not scheduled to and we had monitors from another company on that day. I told monitor no. Mostly because a monitor should always make schedule change via project managers, which she did not.

Meanwhile, one colleague of mine went ahead checking to see if we could accommodate monitors from two companies. This happened before where monitor short-circuited PM and went to the clinic directly for site visit. I remember how upset the PM was over this bypass. So I tried to stay out of it as much as I could, as I was more concerned with proper procedure than efficiency.

Indeed, oh how she was upset from her email that I opened the next morning — reiterating to both monitor and us that she was “still to be the primary contact for scheduling monitor visits.” The other co-worker couldn’t understand why the PM made a big deal of it. You would think it more efficient if a shortcut is found and taken, but you violate procedural rules.

It is very important to keep in mind that American society is dominated by procedural rules. An extreme case is a murderer could be set free if the prosecutor violates procedural rules in the process. A criminal must be proved guilty by the legal procedure. Work place in America over-emphasizes the proper procedure for any work process, resulting in lack of flexibility sometimes, or sacrificing substance and efficiency. Be fully aware of these procedural rules. Violation of this could offend people and get into trouble even if you have every good intention of getting a job done.

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