But, wait! We spent millions of dollars last year on the new systems and now they are doing things the same way they did a year age. This could be your worst nightmare.
As a team leader, you monitor the activities of your team and the business processes they use. No doubt, you look for opportunities to improve these processes when necessary. Most probably you observe their step by step activities to determine if those elements of the process continue to add value. One of the results of your review may be that a particular step may no longer be required. You should also observe the way your team actually works.
Irrespective of the new technologies that may have been installed, people are the key to making any process work as desired. Just looking at the numbers is probably not enough. You must be careful to consider “people” and factor them into the analysis and evaluation of your processes. One of the key reasons to include these factors is that you must be able to help the team set realistic goals.
Here are three (3) suggestions.
- Efficiency – As a team leader, you want an efficient operation. A consideration that you must include in the analysis is the little things that create interruptions and loss of concentration for your team members. For example, newer team members often ask more experienced team members for instructions and advice throughout the day. These requests, although reasonable, can break or interrupt concentration. Efficiency is a worthwhile objective, but must be moderated by a number of human factors. If not, quality will suffer and continued efficiency will be sacrificed.
- Human factors – There are business processes that do not acknowledge such factors as fatigue and the ability to concentrate or focus for extended periods of time. A significant amount of research has been conducted on the factors of fatigue and concentration. This fact is documented by simply tracking the organizations who continuously hire for the same position. Every organization should try to operate in a manner that allows it to retain quality team members. These established team members help to ensure the maintenance of quality standards.
- Effectiveness – Since people are not machines, they need an environment that helps their concentration and focus. This is a required factor that must be included in any change in processes. If you decide to make changes to your processes, you must consider people and not simply workflow or streamlining. Morale and loyalty issues are valid considerations as well.
The overarching consideration for changing a process is to find a way to more clearly focus on the work or activities that add value to the processes. If you can eliminate or at least minimize the amount of work that does not add value to your efforts, effectiveness and efficiency will increase.
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