Thursday, August 18, 2022
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    Result or process?

    When monitoring a project, one would look at the processes and at the results. Both should be monitored to evaluate the success of a project. But which matters most? The result or the process? The processes lead to results, so undoubtedly, both need due attention.There are people who are result focused and others that are more process oriented. Even better, there is the third group that is both process and results oriented. Which are we?

    For me, it is all about the results. There is this saying in Amharic that goes ‘Yetim fichiew duketun amchiew’. In English, it loosely translates to ‘what is important is the flour and not the how and when it was milled’. Of course, the quality of the process determines the quality of the end results. But that is not always the case. Take, for instance, relationships between a man and a woman. It is common culture here in Ethiopia, and I am sure elsewhere as well, to despise arranged dating and marriage. Many people that I know hate the idea of a friend, a relative or another acquaintance setting them up for a date. For them, it is a sign of failure, a sign that they are unable to attract the opposite sex on their own, and a sign of desperation. Although they desperately wish for a happily ever after kind of marriage, they have set their minds that a marriage that results from a date set up by acquaintances will not yield the desired type of marriage. But does the process in which you first meet your dating partner really matter when it comes to the success of the relationship? How many people do we know that have accidently met, dated for more than five years, and ended up in a messy breakup, or even divorce? And how many people do we know that live in an arranged marriage for forty plus years and are very much happily married?  So, again, does the way we meet our life partners matter when it comes to the quality of the relationship? I say, no!

    Another example where, for me, the process does not really matter when it comes to getting good results is in the work place. Pre-COVID-19, I imagine that the requirement for time punches was pretty strict in many organizations, both here and elsewhere. Checking-in for work between eight and nine and checking out between five and six was the norm. Post-COVID-19, I would say that the work culture has significantly been altered. Except for front line employees, working from home is now becoming the standard. Of course, this does not concern organizations such as government offices where the culture of using the internet for work purposes is very limited. Working from home and flexible working hours are even being added as benefit packages in some job advertisements.

    To be honest, I believe that one good thing that the pandemic has brought to people is the opportunity to work from home, although the pandemic is something I always pray that we finally free ourselves from. I have always questioned the need for time punches in the workplace. Why should it matter that I sit idly in the office after getting my assignments done and submitted all my deliverables? Why should I not be allowed to go home if I am done with the work planned for the day? Are office hours more important than the deliverables?

    I wish the ‘work from home’ and ‘flexible hours’ work culture continued even after the end of the pandemic. After all, earnings alone do not motivate one to work effectively. Freedom is also one of the greatest benefit packages that an employer can give to its employees! And at the end of the day, I believe that results are more important than the processes!

    Contributed by Tsion Taye

     

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