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Government Productivity Took a Billion Dollar Blow

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Today we have a fun riddle: What’s the best way to make a billion dollars?

The answer: Discover a feasible way to actually print the $100 bill designed by the United States.

government productivity $100 bills

The federal government shut down production of the enhanced $100 bill due to a printing error. According to one article, the problem has caused some major setbacks:

More than 1 billion unusable bills have been printed. Some of the bills creased during production, creating a blank space on the paper, one official told CNBC. Because correctly printed bills are mixed in with the flawed ones, even the ones printed to the correct design specs can’t be used until they ‘re sorted. It would take an estimated 20 to 30 years to weed out the defective bills by hand . . .

Turned out, the unique additions added to the money—created specifically to prevent counterfeiting—inevitably made printing a disaster. More than ten percent of our nation’s currency had been quarantined indefinitely. Not to mention that the $120 million it cost to print the enormous batch will now be lost since the flawed bills must be burned.

government productivity low due to error

As if this all wasn’t disturbing enough, what was most surprising to AccelaWork was the lack of attention that wasn’t given to the largest flaw in this entire scenario. From what could be gathered, though this project was ten years in the making, not once was the new design contemplated nor tested in regards to the printing stage. In other words, for an entire decade, experts, designers, government officials and surely dozens of additional professionals worked diligently on a product that would never properly coordinate with the most necessary stage in its creation. Sadly, despite the hard work, new and innovative techniques, and countless discussions and meetings involved in this process, it did not change the fact that efforts to anticipate failure went neglected.

Now you may be thinking, why focus on anticipating failure when preventing it seems to be the better option? After all, it sounds more logical to NOT want to make mistakes. But, there’s no denying that failure can be tricky. The moment you stop predicting error is the moment when a detail is overlooked. In the end, it’s easier and more productive to prepare for problems in a project rather than prevent all of them from occurring. So when it comes to contemplating failure, take time to ask the imperative questions:

  • What systems are in place when errors and delays occur?
  • What can be done to properly support those effected by failure?
  • Are stakeholders empowered and knowledgeable enough to remedy issues on their own?
  • How will the effects of failure compromise and/or boost our company? Our workflow?

If broken processes in your office are negatively impacting productivity and creating an expensive and wasteful environment, contact our corporate productivity experts. We will help identify problems in your workflow as well as assist in creating new, useful techniques that boost rather than plummet your overall success.

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