Blogger: Bill Pray
In Advice to a Young Tradesman (1748), Benjamin Franklin said, “Remember that time is money.” Economics professor Ian Walker, of England’s Warwick University, took it a step further and created a mathematical formula: V=(W((100-t)/100))/C, where V is the value of an hour, W is a person's hourly wage, t is the tax rate and C is the local cost of living.
Why is it so difficult to use the existing technology for calendaring to coordinate meetings? There is value in people’s time. However, today’s technologies haven’t yet found ways to effectively overcome time zone snafus, daylight savings time changes, delegation, sharing, updating, resource scheduling, multiple calendars, and multiple devices. While there are stabs at solutions, some of them quite good, it is frustrating that the tools still lag the needs.
Talk with just about anyone and ask them about last time they had a calendar issue. I’ll wager it happened fairly recently and it cost them some time to sort out. My most recent issue occurred two days ago when I tried to change the time for an appointment with a customer and the update failed to register on his calendar. Stories can range from the simple to the tragic as missed appointments lead to missed opportunities or worse. A little over a year ago, the Danish government spent $400,000 to build a web site and connectors for popular calendaring systems to address free/busy search challenges.
E-mail platforms are the main providers of calendaring technology in most enterprises. They are getting better at addressing some of the challenges. The iCal standard is being implemented more frequently, which appears to be helping some. There are even several start-ups trying to tackle some of the issues with web-based services (e.g. Tungle and TimeBridge). However, there is still work to be done to meet the needs, especially as calendaring and scheduling leaves the realm of e-mail and becomes integrated into team workspaces, social networking solutions, real-time collaboration solutions, etc. For some, perhaps, this is an opportunity.
Post or send me your calendaring or scheduling stories.