Learning Value from Roman Public Transportation

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to live in Rome for a month and it was amazing. I was there long enough that I felt like I was becoming a local and part of being a local is the daily commute.

Rome has no shortage of public transportation; if you can’t make your way from point A to point B with public transportation then you aren’t looking hard enough. My morning commute was about 2.2 km (or about 1.4 miles) through the heat of a Roman summer.

My first few days there I dreaded the walk, so I tried my luck at the 8 tram which was a straight shot to my destination. After my first time, I walked my commute every day after – 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back. Suddenly the heat of the sun seemed much more appealing than the heat of a packed tram car.

The freedom of walking was better than the stop and go of the tram that smushed you against other passengers. The scenery of Rome was much prettier on the sidewalk than through advertisement plastered windows. Most importantly, the 30 minutes I walked were much more enjoyable than the 20 minutes I spent on the tram – and I found that I didn’t mind creating room for the extra 10 minutes I would need in the morning. It didn’t feel longer to me. Don’t get me wrong, I took that 8 tram more times than I can count – but I didn’t take it on my morning or afternoon commute.

It’s easy to see something that saves time as being better or more efficient. That isn’t always the case.

While my tram commute saved me 10 minutes one way it also cost me a lot. When I got off that tram, I was in a way worse mood than when I finished my walk. I had been crammed into an over-heated car and missed out on the amazing views of the city. It wasn’t worth 10 minutes to me.

Efficiency improvements are a necessary part of growth and development, but it is important to always consider the cost. Efficiency cannot only be examined as a one-dimensional metric – the indirect impact must be considered.

Does one less tab, one less click, or one less status save time? Does it interfere with carefully planned out checks and balances? Does it frustrate operators or managers? Does it reduce the quality of the outcome?

At what point does the time savings, cost savings, any savings, outweigh the cost? It’s important to understand where efficiency is worth the tradeoff and where it isn’t. Nobody wants to start their day getting off the tram angry.

Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.

About Amanda: Amanda Rickert is a Solutions Consultant Co-Op at Advoco. She works with the Post Implementation team to help customers make the most of their day-to-day EAM use. She has recently been focused on a Business Intelligence software, Birst, which presents data analytics to help customers make informed decisions. Amanda is still learning as a student at Clemson University in Industrial Engineering and applying her studies to her job here at Advoco. She loves working with customers and solving problems to help make someone’s day a little easier!Send her an email!


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