The workload in many organizations is big, and it won’t get any better. Recently, at the European Commission, discussions at the highest level concluded that the workforce had to be reduced by 5% while the overall workload would be increased.
I don’t know of any policy officer who is able to perform all his tasks in 40 hours, the average working time. The policy officer is one of the most represented and instrumental roles at the Commission. He or she prepares and coordinates new policies, and writes briefings to Commissioners and Director-Generals. From all those interviewed, none of them is consciously blaming the working methods for this. They work in the evening, but that’s only part of the deal.
In today’s world, technologies evolve quickly and progressively, new uses emerge everyday, organizations evolve logarithmically.
From what I could see, it is not yet possible to find a tool which can make your life easier from one day to another. You can find solutions to some of your biggest problems and frustrations, like reducing email exchanges, number of versions of documents sent, number of meetings or de-siloing your organization, yet you won’t find your panacea in a click. Designing the appropriate technologies will take efforts from the whole organization, at all levels, including from those policy officers, who already work extra hours.
This is why it is so important to progress at a relatively low speed but efficiently, with the people. You need to speak the same language, adapt to their culture and state of mind. What you want is to embark the whole organization, not just the geeks (although you love them!).