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“La Dolce Vita” of Waiting

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In Prato, Italy, it sometimes takes so long for the government to process residence renewal permits that by the time they are ready to be picked up, they have already expired.

Saying that Italians have challenges with government efficiency might sound like the punchline for an insensitive joke. But for the 3.5 million legal resident aliens who live and work in the country, problems with bureaucracy are no laughing matter. This process improvement issue is their livelihood.

Process Improvement - Prato, Italy

© Flickr user Bryn Pinzgauer

According to the The New York Times:

The issue is particularly pressing in this part of Tuscany, where a once-thriving textile industry fueled immigration, especially from China. The influx of new workers had spurred local administrations to meet with the police department to cut through the bureaucracy. The new procedure has been a huge setback, local officials said.

“Before, we could get papers processed in 15 days, we were cited as a model area,” said Irene Gorelli, the provincial councilor for social affairs. “Now it’s as bad as Milan or Rome, it takes months.”

Read that carefully. Incredulously, the local bureaucrat has a well-defined benchmark for unacceptable delays. She believes that the situation is “officially” dire when turnaround times are as slow as in the major cities!

The language we use to describe processes is essential to understanding our perspective and building new approaches to improving our systems. When we compare ourselves to the worst, it shows that we consider our success in relative terms rather than absolute ones. Get help from the process improvement experts at AccelaWork. Make your systems more efficient and effective for everyone.

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