When fleeing a crisis, people tend to grab the essentials. Beyond their children, clothes, money, and some food, they usually grab precious things. It could be a photo, a memory of a loved one, or something else. Very few people will grab a utility bill. Birth certificates or ID cards or passports if they exist, yes, but utility bills? Not so much.
And yet this is one of the requirements of the UK government for Ukrainian refugees. For the lucky few, they will have a digital copy that they can access online, but this will be for wealthier ones. And if you have questions, you can call the hotline. However, it is only available if you are already in the UK.
Sometimes our processes are absurd. Not intentionally, but well meaning ideas evolve into absurdia. Bureaucracies of all sorts are full of them. Our processes tend to start off simple and then they evolve. Either through time or through meetings and committees. Our simple 10 question survey, becomes a 100 question survey. We go from measuring 5 metrics to 27. Many of us will have experienced this in some form.
The challenge is changing the absurd because often the absurd has a logic built in. Each metric or step or even the utility bill requirement on its own is reasonable, logical, and perhaps even helpful. However, it becomes absurd when viewed as a whole with all the other parts.
Digital transformation can make this worse not better because when we go digital the cost of collecting one more piece of data is virtually nil. And over the past few decades as this cost has gone to zero, we have become like kids in a candy store wanting everything we can get our hands on.
And yet, we need to become ruthless. We need ‘data minimisation’ to come into its own. Rather than the most, we need to ask what is the least amount of data we need.
It’s doubtful a utility bill will make the cut.