U.S.A. is 7th in productivity, 1rst in hours worked
I saw an ad for Sprint the other day that spouted some interesting stats. The U.S.A. is 1rst in the world as far as average hours worked per person. Yet, we are 7th in productivity. (Their source is a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation, and Development.)
I wonder if much of the rest of the world spends as much time as we do doing absolute idiotic activities. I spend 20% of my week working in Siebel documenting requirements, reviewing work tickets, etc... I spend 2 - 4 hours per week reviewing or documenting activities for the Regional Change and Configuration Management Board or the Enterprise Change and Configuration Management Board. I spend much of my week documenting requirements for changes to the enterprise (like disabling OMA and ActiveSync in an organization that does not use and will NEVER use mobile phones). I will generate approximately 50 hours worth of work just to get approval to set up a trust relationship between two Active Directory domains that I could do by myself in 5 minutes. Much of this documentation goes in front of people who see it as their job to tell others why something can't be done.
My personal business that I run with a few friends is no better. Many organizations require all sorts of paperwork from us just to buy a $300 piece of software via credit card. Government organizations require "single source" documentation from us as well as EOE statements.
If we wonder why we have to work so much just to keep up, it is because we are creating unnecessary work for ourselves.