How Does Office NPT Happen?​​



The hidden productivity killer lurking in every organization — office NPT


NPT is the time wasted by people when it comes to dealing with documents, data, process, and software. You see it everywhere as staff struggle with a host of issues, which can include:

  • Wasting time trying to format, edit, and print documents
  • Creating a compelling presentation in the correct, company-branded template
  • Searching through files and folders looking for the latest version of a file
  • Wondering where to put a report or bit of data they’ve received from the field
  • Reworking problems because incorrect data was used
  • Using inconsistent processes to work through the different stages of engineering projects
  • Resolving software questions or issues


The origins of these problems can be traced back to the advent of the personal computer and the decentralization of administrative work. PCs meant that engineers could generate their own documents without the aid of a typist. The intent was for the office to go paperless. Gradually, secretaries were replaced, file rooms closed, and libraries shut down, and the specialized skills and process were minimized or became nonexistent.
The offshoot was predictable – people were forced to do work for which they are untrained, and the lack of organizational guidance grew.
This is evident in three areas:
  • Desktop Publishing
  • Document and Data Management
  • Process Management
In every office:
  • There is the engineer or two who excel at crafting documents,
  • There is the group in the middle that struggles through, and
  • There is the group on the far extreme who would rather do anything than work on a document.

Practically speaking, only a small percentage of the work force is truly proficient at writing and preparing documents. This leads to poorly crafted communications that take too long to produce and have a message that doesn’t properly educate the receiver.


On the document and management side, the situation is equally worrisome:
  • Engineers maintain elaborate individual filing systems, often on their own machines, because it is the only way they can be sure they will be able to find their documents.
  • Corporate systems tend to be created by IT groups with no working knowledge of how the data is handled in the real world.
When it comes to working a project from start to finish, there is often a different process being used by each person on the engineering team.
  • Why? People want to use a process that makes sense to the individual.

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