Accountability . . .

Posted: April 5, 2011 in General Blogging

 If you have been following my blog, you may know I am telling you a little bit about myself, my husband, my marriage, my son and my career.  I have had an interesting life and I thought I would share a slice of it.  If you want to start from the beginning, please read my post called Another story begins . . . or read the related link at the end of this post.

Shortly after implementing the application for the default department, I noticed that the managers were not using the power of the application.  Keep in mind it took three years to implement this system, a system that defines the workflow of all of the employees, a system that ensures that things are done correctly and on time. From a simplistic view, the application created a work queue of work that needed to be done in its appropriate priority.   It supported each step in the default process for every loan and for every investor.  Unfortunately, the managers were not holding their employees accountable to the tasks or the deadlines designated by the application.

The default department had about 500 employees and they serviced millions of mortgage loans.  I knew that if the managers continued with their current approach with the application, the application would be worthless and not produce the savings that they were expecting.  I also knew that the longer they didn’t embrace the use of the applications the bigger the mess was going to get.

As I watched the power of the application heading down the path of being worthless, I decided to have a meeting with the vice president.  I felt it was my responsibility to ensure he knew about the issue and could take action on it.

In the meeting, I showed him a presentation of where the failure was occurring and proposed how to mitigate that failure.   I gave him an analogy that it was like a tree with its flourishing branches and leaves and a strong root system that was a foundation for the tree.  The default application had all the bells and whistles to completely organize the work associated with a loan in default, and ensure that there were no losses due to mishandled procedures.  I told him that we spent three years building the root system of this tree which was a good foundation to build upon.  I also told him that we had converted all of the delinquent loans onto this new application and at the time of conversion each loan was sitting in it appropriate place in the maze of the default process, represented by the leaves and the branches of the tree.  

With water and sunshine, I showed him that the tree would flourish.  In this analogy the water and sunshine was management of the staff and enforced accountability.  I told him that if you cut out the management and accountability this picture of the tree would have a section of the trunk of the tree missing.  I explained what you would be left are scattered twigs that have fallen to the ground.  I told him that if you wanted to put that tree back together, it would be impossible.

This was a great visual and he immediately got what I was trying to tell him.  I was also able to show him some statistics regarding what the work effort would be to get this turned around and using the application as it was intended.  He also understood that we needed to address this right away.

This turned out to be a great meeting.  A great meeting for his department, but also a great meeting for me because he extended my contract another six months to oversee the managers and ensure they are using the application appropriately.  My 2 ½ year job now turned into three years.


Related posts:

Book smart doesn’t guarantee project success . . .
Same company, different job . . .
Back again . . .
Swallow my pride and move on . . .
Worst fears were coming true . . .

A new business can be rough . . .
It’s a different world . . .
Change in career, another move, and starting something new . . .
Good-bye Chicago, Hello Columbus . . .
Chicago and a time of crisis . . .
A place of prosperity . . .
There are good people in the world . . .
Hard times: a need to relocate . . .
And another story begins .


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