Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 | Saving money by refusing to fill vacancies is a common bureaucratic ploy when cutting costs. While it is the easy way out for management it is, on the face of it, a grossly inefficient response to lean budgets. It says, in effect, that every vacancy is equally important in the operation of a function. What if, instead, departments were required to rank order the criticality of all positions. Then, you’d expect the cuts would come partially from vacancies and partially from incumbents. While rank ordering may be too difficult, at least positions could be classed as critical, desirable but not critical, and nice to have. However, if the latter procedure was adopted, departments must be required to categorize positions in the form of a roughly normal distribution. Else, you know what would happen (for the naive, “all positions are critical”).

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