Herts Ad comment: Remember the 7 Ps of planning

Herts Advertiser comment

Herts Advertiser comment - Credit: Archant

Despite knowing about plans to introduce new polymer £5 notes for months, and with all the accompanying support of the Bank of England in making the transition, nobody at NCP thought to test whether they would actually work in their existing payment machines.

This meant that at the busiest time of year in St Albans city centre (and undoubtedly elsewhere in the country), unnecessary queues were formed by customers caught short by the blunder, and because it appears that nobody thought to inform the district council, they couldn’t even warn people to be aware of the problems.

The small and vague signs stuck either to the payment machines or nearby walls really didn’t go far enough to raise awareness, and wouldn’t even have been noticed until people returned to their cars, rather than on the way out.

Perhaps it was frustration with general incompetence which led to the vandalism of ticket machines in some of the district’s other car parks?

There really shouldn’t be any excuses for a general lack of planning, but we hear them all the time from the usual suspects: Thameslink, Network Rail, the county and district council, and various other organisations whose responsibility it is to get things right first time, instead of being informed by the Herts Advertiser when everything goes wrong.

Is it too much to hope that in 2017 we might start to see a degree of prescient preparation, with the powers-that-be anticipating problems before they happen, and being proactive instead of reactive all the time?

Or can we expect another year of organisations blundering their way through catastrophe after crisis, with the poor people they are supposed to be serving left picking up the pieces?

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I know which option I’d put money on.

Finally, the team at the Herts Advertiser would like to wish all of our loyal readers and advertisers a very Merry Christmas.