The National Theatre of Prague has over a thousand employees and dozens of internal processes, which were cumbersome and not always in sync. Two problems needed solutions:
1. As a government-funded organization, many rules and regulations had to be maintained, updated, understood and followed by all of the employees. A Microsoft Access database with hundreds of files was not efficient.
2. A simple database for the properties used in hundreds of performances was the foundation for an archaic approval process. So, when the table that was repeatedly pounded upon during an emotional scene eventually needed to be replaced, a long set of steps started: the Excel table with rows of data went to an accountant to confirm the value for each item (which was usually zero); a commission of several people (which was different for each theatre) had to agree with the valuation; the Director had to be consulted for properties worth more than 10,000 EUR; the technical department had to sign off; and, finally, the table was ready to be sold, moved or destroyed. All of the approvals were on a Word document. The signatures were on a physical piece of paper.
One developer was able to quickly and effectively create applications to eliminate both pain points.
The first — the maintenance and publication of hundreds of guidelines — is now done through a simple single-page application. One administrator keeps the guidelines up to date. Then all employees can access them whenever they need to.
The second — working with old props and other assets — was more complex so the solution was especially impactful. Now an app takes the prop data from the accounting system. The accountant confirms the value: Yes or No is entered into the app. The item then moves automatically to the different commissions with email notifications and links. The Director is consulted for valuable items. And the Technical Department gets instructions accordingly. There is a different dynamic matrix for each commission.
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