Why Workarounds Happen

In general, new systems are acquired because existing ones are considered outgrown or inadequate, or both. New systems are supposed to improve productivity and/or reduce cost based on increases in speed and more sophisticated automation of procedures.
It should be obvious, though, that simply automating procedures only permanently imbeds existing processes, including all the inevitable existing unofficial workarounds (and other inefficiencies) that have more or less enabled the existing system to function.  They have also obviously enabled it to function at such suboptimal levels that a replacement system is now being considered.

Moreover, since the last system change or upgrade doubtless has resulted in the current layer of workarounds and inefficiencies, whatever new system is elected will have to be similarly modified to remain consistent with the only way to "get anything done around here". This task is accomplished by employees consuming significant company time without management knowledge, inevitably accompanied by much grumbling also not overheard by management. Without a fresh look, the Law of Diminishing Returns will doubtless reapply, and the desire for a better system will ultimately  – sometimes, sooner rather than later – again raise its head.

All of this, naturally, will occur independently of:

  1. Any true understanding of the essential work to be done regardless of how workarounds enable a facsimile of that work to get done anyway
  2. Any workaround-free optimization of the new system's capabilities and features to enable it to operate as efficiently as possible.

Equally important is that, after a while, the workarounds become indistinguishable (by the workers, at least) from official work procedures designed to get the work done, which leads to "We've always done it this way because that's the way it's supposed to be done," and besides, "it's the only way we know how to do it."

Compounding the issue is the fact that, in today's downsized, experienced-workers-go-first environment, the entire departmental collective history may not be that long. That means, in other words, that no one still working may actually understand each person's role nor even what the tasks being performed were originally designed to accomplish.

PSM can clear the air and help get everyone on board.  It's hard to move forward when employees aren't, isn't it?

It's important to stress once more, that:

(a) not every organization needs PSM performed.

(b) We do it as part of our other system investigation and analysis, so if there's no low hanging fruit to be gathered, little time has been expended nor much cost incurred in the effort.

(c) When PSM is performed, the results can be dramatic. It's like a number of other skillsets Teleconvergence has: you might not need them, or you might not need them right now, but it's always comforting to know they they exist.