As regular readers will know, I am rather fond of a biscuit or two – and particularly the Jaffa Cake. (Yes, it’s a biscuit not a cake, despite the name. The way to tell is that cakes go hard when they’re stale, whereas biscuits go soft.) Jaffa Cakes come in boxes of twelve, and along with all other processed food items in the UK, a “traffic light” logo on that box indicating the product’s levels of sugars, fats, salts and so on: red is high, amber is medium and green is low. (Jaffa Cakes are obviously extremely good for you, with that orangey centre.) The reason for all of this biscuit-related flannel is that I have been wondering whether any MLROs have considered using – for internal, staff-directing purposes only, of course – a traffic light system for applicants and indeed clients.
My reasoning is that – the colour-blind aside – we are all very quick to respond to the red/amber/green signal. I believe that it is universal, which would take care of any translation difficulties. Of course it only works if you have three options – green for standard due diligence, amber for enhanced due diligence, and red for rejection, for instance. Although, thinking about it, you could use the system to track an application, or to monitor reviews – so green is “all done, we’re ready to continue”, amber is “we’re getting there, but work still to be done before we accept/maintain this client”, and red is “big obstacles – lots still to be done”. In fact, I think I like this application better: you could move the client file into different coloured folders – paper or virtual – as it progresses. I may patent it – although the estate of Garrett Morgan might have something to say about that.