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The allure of total revamp

There is a possible internal project at work that I’m very excited about. It is about our intranet, which has long since stopped working as intended and has become a graveyard of pages created by people that have since left that detail processes about a CRM that we no longer have, etc.

But a lot of us still use it for other things that it’s perfectly capable of handling, and it has good features. Its main issues are that there’s too much on it, too much of it has become outdated and that, using it, you run into templates, folder structures and links that are no longer fit-for-purpose.

Thinking of what could and should be done about it, I reckon it would be important to call it a simplification instead of a total revamp. Total revamp is much better-sounding: start afresh! ‘Thinking it through’. First principles. And so on and so forth.

In actuality it’s an 80/20 problem. Most of the benefit can be attained with having a few clear and simple aims and paring back the excess. After that, additional improvement will be slow and laborious to achieve and only add a little bit of value.

I was reminded of Get Organized!, a book by Jill Duffy about keeping your digital life under control that I read years ago (according to LibraryThing, 2013). I remember one of the solutions for taming a runaway email inbox was to resist the urge to revamp – you know, invent a tagging system, create loads of specifically and logically named folders and then spend however long it takes going through your piled-up email to sort it all into the right places. A more practical, faster and ultimately just as good way was to create one folder called ‘OLD’, chuck everything into that, and start being organised with new emails that arrive. If you really want to, you can go back to the old emails later, or pull them out of the OLD folder as and when they’re needed. I always liked that idea.


My husband Cal and I created a Prime Minister sweepstakes when Boris Johnson resigned. We picked candidates in turned until all of them had either my name or his next to them. The bad news is that only one of my candidates is still in the running. The good news is that it’s Rishi Sunak…

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