Speeding up the processes

So why are processes so complicated? And even if they are, why does it have to take so long to get through them? When I travel abroad, I get a chance to stand in many queues, mostly airline counters but a few others too like supermarket, banks etc. Standing in queues is frustrating everywhere, even abroad. But there since everyone seems be disciplined enough to wait for their turn, I also stand and wait for my turn. The person at the counter usually provides full attention to the customer and will not listen to you if you break the queue, even if it is to make a small enquiry. Back home in India (my hospital experience mainly), I noticed that the person at the counter was handling at least three transactions at any given time. So while he was making an entry into his computer for the person in line, he was also responding to another query by someone who broke the line, and yet another who came from behind the counter. In the middle there was someone who came and stuffed more paper in his hands said a few things and left. And of course I pushed him to swipe my card (just a card swipe you see, nothing more… I smiled as I handed him my credit card).

Amazing multi-tasking capabilities one would imagine. But is it speeding things up or slowing things down? I broke the queue and got my card swiped and left. Didn’t have to stand in the queue I smiled. Then when I had to get my bill printed (and stand in the queue this time), I muttered under my breath about all these line breakers who were delaying the person at the counter to get to my papers.

Is this also what happens in our work environment? Are we on too many transactions at the same time? So if I am working on writing a chapter, or creating graphics or testing a module, are there are too many other distractions? Do we have many queue breaking activities that interrupt the work? What are these activities, events etc? Wouldn’t things get done faster and better if the process was followed in the first place and we didn’t break queues?