Today I found out there is a very special Section at the Pensions Service. It is called the Decision Making Section. Employed in this Section are people called ‘Decision Makers’. Wow, eh? Every organisation needs Decison Makers.
The result of having an entirely separate Section for Decision Making is that my mother-in- law got a letter about a Decision from the Decision Making Section that didn’t make any sense. It may or may not have contained a decision. For an unprofessional decision maker, it was hard to tell.
For the letter to make sense to her and be of value, it would have to go through a few more very important sections.
- Something has Changed Section (the trigger could be a change in her circumstances or a new claim)
- Context Section (to get the facts about her past history and claim correct)
- Decision Making Section (where the professional decision makers make a decision)
- Workings Out Section (where the professional worker- outers work out how much money the claimants will get or lose or owe)
- What-this-means-for-the-Claimant Section ( where the news for the claimant is translated into a clear, unambiguous message including anything they have to do next)
- Sending -out-letters Section
- Customer Services Section (to answer any queries)
The information would have to be handed from staff in Section 1 to Section 2 and so on until it reached Section 6. Section 7 would be responsive but staff would have access to information from the other 6 Sections.
How do you think that would work?! How long do you think it would take? Do you think there would be any potential for errors as staff pass the case from Section to Section? How much do you think it would cost to have 7 sections?
Unfortunately, the letter my mother-in-law received only went through Section 3, rendering it incomprehensible.
I’d like to propose an alternative design! Get rid of all these ridiculous Sections and instead train up all Pension Service Advisors to be able to deal with claims and changes in circumstances from start to finish.