6 Hours Lost Time Per Week – Bad Documentation

By October 30, 2013 No Comments

Ineffective documentation is the Biggest Waste of Time ?

Bad documentation is a reason for many frustrations. I just spend 45 minutes in trying to locate the right sales presentation. Later during the day another 60 minutes by searching the materials I made when I did new brand positioning of Ruukki roofing business two years ago.

Is this familiar feeling? Maybe you try to find the right contract and changes agreed with the customer and spend 2 hours just browsing through your files. Getting already frustrated ?

IDC survey on information worker productivity

I was reading a survey conducted by IDC across USA, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan in 2012 which shows that each employee waste 6 hours per week due to ineffective documentation activities across organisation. This is equivalent to recruiting 98 new employees (in case of an organization with 1,000 employees).


Parameter Hours Spend per week Hours wasted per week % of time wasted % of organizational productivity lost
Collating information from multiple documents into single one 3.5 0.9 1.8% 1.4%
Dealing with difficulties associated to managing large volume of documents 3.5 0.9 1.7% 1.4%
Not being able to locate documents 2.3 2.3 4.6% 3.7%
Recreating documents as a result of misplacing  documents 2.0 2.0 4% 3.2%
Total 11.2 6.0 12.1% 9.8%

Source: IDC’s Information Worker Productivity Survey, June 2012

I believe this is truly correct finding or the situation might have been getting even worse during the past year. So, it is really time for starting mapping how documents should be better organised, stored, used, tagged etc. I believe the dilemma is not so simple than just document management solution and many enterprises are not actually tackling this dilemma actively. It is somehow, just simpler to let employees to spend time in searching information from hundreds of collaboration rooms, own laptop files and from endless emails.
A good document management is naturally answer to some of these challenges, but I believe a more collaborative enterprise and totally new ways to thinking information sharing should be foundation for building up more productive information workers. This is heavily linked to the new ways of defining documents names and tags, use of cloud services, gamification and overall social enterprise which should lower barriers of hierarchies and information sharing.


IDC – information-worker-productivity-gap


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